Hundreds of anti-government protesters demonstrate near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s home on Gaza Street in Jerusalem ahead of today’s key High Court of Justice hearing on petitions against the coalition’s recusal law, which shields prime ministers from being forced by the court or by the attorney general to step down.
The controversial law — an amendment to a quasi-constitutional Basic Law — is widely seen as designed, among other things, to protect Netanyahu from the consequences of a conflict of interest agreement he signed in 2020 that allowed him to serve as premier while on trial for corruption charges. Under that deal, Netanyahu committed not to involve himself in judicial matters that could affect his ongoing trial.
The current government has been pushing through a comprehensive overhaul of the judiciary and Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara has declared Netanyahu to be in violation of the deal, though she has said she isn’t considering ordering the premier to recuse himself.
The anti-Netanyahu activists from the Brothers and Sisters in Arms group arrive with cardboard boxes with the slogan “Pack, Sara, Levin is moving in” — implying that Netanyahu and his wife Sara will soon be ousted from the prime minister’s residence and that Justice Minister Yariv Levin will replace them.
The activists demand that Netanyahu “show leadership and cancel the judicial coup so that the chaos will stop and Israel will get back on track.”
Police deploy a large number of officers to the scene, including mounted officers and a water cannon.
Four protesters have been arrested for trespassing and disturbing the peace after climbing over a fence into the property of a building adjacent to the prime minister’s residence.