Netanyahu To Imminently Suspend Israeli Judicial Overhaul Plan After Protest Chaos, Strikes & Shutdowns

By Tyler Durden

Amid the ongoing huge Israeli protests, which are being widely described as the country’s largest in history, embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to imminently announce he’s suspending his coalition’s judicial overhaul legislation. He also for the first time warned the country against falling into violence.

Upon his signaling that he will now back down from the controversial overhaul (at least temporarily) – seen as a sweeping power grab – and after banks and shops closed in a nationwide strike, the shekel appreciated against the dollar and Israeli shares immediately rose. The shekel in early morning trading rose more than 1% to 3.55 against the dollar on reports there will be a U-turn.

The protests, which have been gaining steam and spreading for days, hit epic proportions Sunday and overnight into Monday with the shock firing of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant due to his calling for the suspension of the judicial overhaul legislation while asserting the plan would “created an internal rift that poses a clear and immediate threat for Israel’s national security.”

Chaotic scenes have emerged showing over 100,000 Israeli demonstrators blocking Tel Aviv’s main highway, with thousands also gathered in front of Netanyahu’s Jerusalem residence. The situation is still dangerous, according to Times of Israel:

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi issues a public letter addressed to all active and reserve servicemen, saying that Israel “has never known such days of external threats combining with an internal storm.”

“This is a time for responsibility,” he writes amid huge nationwide protests following the firing of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

He essentially said the overhaul plan is not worth a civil war.

The Israeli embassy in Washington has announced closure amid protests abroad and reports of staff leaving their posts in protest…

Even McDonald’s locations in Israel closed down at all locations in the country due to private sector workers joining municipal employees in the protest strike.

But while dissent and chaos has been unleashed even within the prime minster’s own Likud party, given some officials have gone on public broadcast stations to show their disapproval of the judicial overhaul, some powerful ministers are still vowing to follow Netanyahu’s lead.

According to the latest from Axios, “In a dramatic turn later Monday, Justice Minister Yariv Levin, who had also threatened to resign, issued a statement stressing that he would respect any decision Netanyahu makes regarding the judicial overhaul. He also said he would work to stabilize the coalition in order to prevent the government from collapsing. Levin’s announcement gave Netanyahu important backing for suspending the legislation.”

For the first time in history, Israel’s main union, as well as leaders from the banks and the entire business sector, have declared general strike demanding that the government stop the plan to overhaul the judicial system.

And the unprecedented pressure has appeared to work, at least for now.

Source: ZeroHedge

Image: Wikimedia

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