Israel updates

"Protests Erupt Prior to Vote on Judicial Overhaul; Netanyahu Undergoes Pacemaker Procedure"

Israel protest
JERUSALEM — Israel is on edge as right-wing lawmakers gear up for a crucial vote that could curtail the Supreme Court’s authority to nullify government actions. This vote is part of a comprehensive plan aiming at restructure  the nation’s independent judiciary, triggering an unprecedented wave of domestic unrest. Large-scale protests, drawing hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, have emerged in opposition to the proposed measure. Critics argue that such changes would weaken one of the limited checks on government power in Israel, a country that lacks a written constitution. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is leading the supporters of the overhaul, asserting that it is necessary to rectify instances of judicial overreach. Each side claims to be upholding democracy, intensifying the stakes of this divisive issue.
The vote is set for early afternoon, and despite the mounting pressure from escalating protests and numerous appeals to delay it, the proponents show no inclination to yield. Foreign leaders, including President Biden, have made repeated pleas for a pause, with Biden himself stating in an interview with the Israeli news site Walla on Sunday that “it doesn’t make sense for Israeli leaders to rush this.” However, the advocates of the measure remain firm in their stance.
At the age of 73, Netanyahu departed from a hospital in central Israel on Monday morning, having spent over 24 hours there for emergency surgery. The procedure involved the installation of a pacemaker to address an undisclosed heart condition.
Over 10,000 military reserve pilots, cyber warriors, and other military experts have vowed to refuse service unless the government takes action. High-ranking generals have raised concerns about Israel’s defensive readiness being compromised if the growing number of reservists indeed refuse to report for duty. 
On Monday, numerous tech companies suspended operations, and representatives from the top 150 Israeli companies closed malls nationwide in protest. They have threatened to continue the strike if the proposed measure becomes law.

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