Israeli police have fired stun grenades in Tel Aviv as scuffles broke out across the country amid a “day of disruption” protest as lawmakers ploughed ahead with judicial changes that opponents see as a threat to democracy.
“Israel is not a dictatorship, Israel is not Hungary,” protesters blocking the main highway from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem shouted on Wednesday, waving blue and white Israeli flags.
Police on horseback tried to stop demonstrators breaching barricades as traffic piled up.
Live footage showed police dragging protesters off the road as demonstrators called out “shame” and “we are the majority and we are out on the streets”.
At least nine people were arrested, police said.
Demonstrations were expected to intensify in what protest organisers have dubbed a day of disruption.
Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said he would not allow “anarchists” to block roads.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a tweet said his government would not “accept violence against police officers, roadblocks and flagrant violation of state laws”.
“The right to protest is not the right to anarchy,” he added.
Netanyahu’s far-right coalition government proposed what it has described as a reform of the judiciary in January. (AlJazeera)