Mayhem in Tel Aviv: Protesters against judicial reform block roads, set fire on main highway; arrests made

Demonstrators blocked several roads in both directions, danced around a fire on the Ayalon highway, set up a tent, spray-painted “Bibi the traitor” on the road. Several arrested.

By World Israel News Staff

An estimated 130,000 people demonstrated in Tel Aviv Saturday night against the judicial reforms being implemented by the Netanyahu government.

On the eighth Saturday night in a row, mass demonstrations were held in several Israeli cities. This week, however, protesters in Tel Aviv took it to a new level: They lit a bonfire and erected a tent in the middle of the Ayalon Highway, a main thoroughfare. Other roads were blocked as well, in both directions, beginning at around 9 p.m.

Hundreds danced around the fire; others lit torches and chanted, “No democracy – no Ayalon” and “We shall override,” among other messages.

Police made several arrests and opened an investigation after one of the protesters sprayed the words “Bibi the traitor” on the road. “Bibi’ is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s nickname.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, one of the main speakers at the demonstration, called for “civil and non-violent riots.”

Calling the planned judicial reforms “an assassination of the Declaration of Independence, which will turn Israel into a dictatorship,” he chided President Isaac Herzog, who had called for compromise between the government and the opposition, asking him, “Is your honor in the D9 (IDF Caterpillar bulldozer] camp or the Declaration of Independence camp?”

Organizers claimed that the Tel Aviv protesters numbered approximately 160,000 and that around 300,000 demonstrated across the country, including 25,000 in Haifa.

“The illegal rampage of the demonstrators in Tel Aviv, which includes burning tires on Ayalon roads and spraying an inscription accusing the Prime Minister of Israel of treason, shows that this is a protest by anarchists who are not fighting for freedom of expression, but for freedom to attack,” Internal Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir stated.

“I call on [Opposition leader] Yair Lapid and [National Unity party leader] Benny Gantz to immediately condemn this anarchist riot and incitement. I instructed the police to act with zero tolerance in the face of violence, incitement and anarchy. Anarchists must not be allowed to set fire to Tel Aviv,” he said.

On Twitter Saturday night, Lapid posted a photo of the protest in Haifa with the caption: “Over 4 million Israeli are fighting for the soul of the State.”

כבר עכשיו – למעלה מרבע מיליון ישראלים בכל הארץ נלחמים על נשמתה של המדינה

— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) February 25, 2023

Gantz addressed the Haifa protest, saying, “We will not leave the country. We will continue to protect it, to fight for it.”

The post Mayhem in Tel Aviv: Protesters against judicial reform block roads, set fire on main highway; arrests made appeared first on World Israel News.

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