Tens of thousands of Israelis poured into the streets of cities across the country early on Monday in a spontaneous outburst of anger after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abruptly fired his defence minister for challenging the Israeli leader’s judicial overhaul plan.
Protesters in Tel Aviv blocked a main highway and lit large bonfires, while police scuffled with protesters who gathered outside Netanyahu’s private home in Jerusalem.
The unrest deepened a monthslong crisis over Netanyahu’s plan to overhaul the judiciary, which has sparked mass protests, alarmed business leaders and former security chiefs and drawn concern from the United States and other close allies.
Netanyahu’s dismissal of Defence Minister Yoav Gallant signalled that the prime minister and his allies will barrel ahead this week with the overhaul plan.
Gallant had been the first senior member of the ruling Likud party to speak out against it, saying the deep divisions were threatening to weaken the military.
In a brief statement, Netanyahu’s office said late Sunday the prime minister had dismissed Gallant.
Netanyahu later tweeted “we must all stand strong against refusal.”
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