Tens of thousands of Israelis march as vote on judicial curbs nears

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(VOVWORLD) - Tens of thousands of Israelis opposed to a judicial overhaul sought by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, marched to Jerusalem on Saturday as pressure mounts on his rightwing government to scrap a bill that would curtail the supreme court’s powers.

Carrying Israeli flags, a long column of protesters hiked up the winding highway to Jerusalem under a scorching summer sun, to the sounds of beating drums and anti-government chants and cheers. 

Protesters have been walking for days through a heatwave, camping out overnight and met by local people offering food and drink, with their numbers swelling as they reached the city gates in an unprecedented sight.

They plan to rally outside parliament before a Sunday debate and subsequent vote on the bill, which would limit the supreme court’s powers to void what it considers “unreasonable” government or ministerial decisions.

Netanyahu’s religious-nationalist coalition says the bill is needed to balance out the branches of power because the court has become too interventionist.