Netanyahu: More than 80,000 turn out for Tel Aviv protest against Netanyahu government

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Tens of thousands of people protested in Tel Aviv on Saturday night against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the government’s proposed changes to Israel’s legal system.

Despite rain pouring over the city, police estimated that more than 80,000 people flooded central Tel Aviv’s HaBima square and surrounding streets, according to Israeli media, while others went to the streets in Jerusalem for parallel protests.

Attendees held signs comparing Netanyahu to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and saying Israel was turning into the likes of semi-democratic Hungary and democratic Iran.

Activists told CNN that they came out of fear for the future of Israel and that they would send a message to Netanyahu that the public will not stand for what they see as the elimination of Israeli democracy.

Esther Hayut, president of Israel’s Supreme Court, attacked the proposed changes as “an unprecedented attack on the legal system” and said they were “designed to inflict a fatal blow on the independence of the legal system.”

The proposed reforms, announced last week by Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin, would seek to reform Supreme Court nominations through a review committee, and allowing parliament to reverse the decisions of the High Court.

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