Another day of mass protests kicked off in Israel on Tuesday, against the government’s controversial judicial reforms, which are making their way gradually through parliament.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in the coastal city of Tel Aviv, with some blocking entrances to the stock exchange.
About 1,000 people, including many army reservists, blocked an army headquarters in the city.
Similar scenes of blockade and protest were taking place in cities across the country.
People also blocked several roads and highways. In a town north of Tel Aviv, a demonstrator was hit by a car and injured, although police deemed it to be an accident.
Protests at train platforms in several cities planned for the afternoon, are expected to severely disrupt the rail network.
The protest, dubbed “Day of Resistance”, follows numerous nationwide protests against legislation, aimed at weakening the power of the judiciary. The government accuses the Supreme Court of interference in political decisions.
With Israeli President Isaac Herzog due to hold talks with US President Joe Biden in Washington on Tuesday, protest organizers are appealing to the US to prevent the Israeli government from carrying out its plans to weaken the independence of the courts.
Although Herzog does not hold the same political power as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the US has long been Israel’s closest ally and Washinton’s backing is important for Israeli leaders.
Next week, a key part of the reform to restrict the power of the Supreme Court is to be passed in its second and third readings. Critics see the separation of powers in danger and warn of the creeping introduction of a dictatorship.
On the eve of Herzog’s visit, the White House announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would make his first official visit to Washington during the Biden administration at some point this autumn.
Netanyahu returned to power in December for his sixth term as prime minister, at the head of what is seen as the most right-wing and religiously conservative government in Israeli history.