Protesters join prayer for unity, form human chain to Knesset

Calling on government to halt legislation to curb judiciary protesters say they are expressing the need to preserve both Israel's Jewish and democratic components



Western Wall prayer for Israeli unity
(Alex Gamburger)

Protesters were among the thousands who gathered early on Sunday, at the Western Wall for a prayer for Israel's unity, days before Tisha B'Av when observant Jews lament the destruction of the Jewish Temple and the expulsion of Jews to a two thousand-years-long exile. The protesters said they would be forming a human chain stretching from the site, to the Knesset where deliberations begin ahead of a final vote on a bill to curb judicial oversight of the government.
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Organizers said that Israelis of all stripes, religious and secular, from the left and from the right, from the urban centers and the social and geographic periphery are set to participate in a call to the government, that broad agreement in needed on their legislation.
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תפילה בכותל
תפילה בכותל
Protesters join prayer for Israel's unity on Sunday
(Photo: Shalev Shalom)
"This will symbolize the unbreakable bond between Israel's Jewish and democratic aspects and is a call to prevent the rift in the nation," the organizers said.
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בני גנץ
בני גנץ
National Unity Party head Benny Gantz at Western Wall prayer calling for unity and a halt to judicial legislation
(Photo: Menahem Kahana/ AFP)
Tens of thousands of protesters joined the march to Jerusalem calling for the coalition's legislative push to be halted before the Knesset votes on the first bill in what they see as an assault on Israeli democracy. Deliberations are to begin on Sunday and conclude with a vote on Monday, which is expected to pass.
A meeting that was scheduled to take place between the Chief of Military Staff Herzi Halevi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the military's readiness was postponed after Netanyahu was hospitalized and implanted with a pacemaker overnight.
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תפילה בכותל
תפילה בכותל
Protesters join prayer for Israel's unity on Sunday
(Photo: Menahem Kahana, AFP )
Halevi was expected to provide the prime minister with an accurate evaluation of the military's ability to function after more than 1,000 pilots, navigators and other members of the Air Force as well as thousands from other critical units, said they would no longer volunteer for service if the bill is passed.
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