A general strike grips Israel amid political chaos

27-03-2023 03:42 PM

Ammon News - A general strike called by Israel's largest trade union federation brought the country to a standstill Monday to protest the government's controversial plan to revamp the judicial system, which touched off countrywide demonstrations.

Universities, Ben Gorion Airport and workers across many sectors said they were joining the strike and the Bar Association closed the courts until further notice, ratcheting up the pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following his decision to fire his defense minister Yoav Gallant, who openly opposed the judicial overhaul.

The army has also heightened its alert level after "losing control" on demonstrators, according to Israel's Channel 12 television. The controversy has split the army after hundreds of reservists said they were refusing military service.

Further deepening the chaos, officials close to Justice Minister Yariv Levin quoted him as insisting that judicial reforms will not be halted.

Netanyahu was meeting coalition leaders to discuss suspension of the legislation, according to Israeli media. He had summoned far-right National Security minister Itamar Ben Gvir for a meeting after the latter threatened to quit the government if the judicial overhaul did not go through.

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