Tens of thousands demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday night against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the changes his government has proposed to the Israeli judicial system.
Despite the rain hitting the city, police estimated that more than 80,000 people flooded Hibima Square in central Tel Aviv and surrounding streets, according to Israeli media, while others took to the streets in Jerusalem to take part in parallel protests.
Those present held banners comparing Netanyahu to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and saying that Israel is turning to the likes of quasi-democratic Hungary and theocratic Iran.
The protesters told CNN they came out of fear for the future of Israel and to send a message to Netanyahu that the public will not support what they see as a dismantling of Israeli democracy.
Esther Hayut, the president of Israel’s Supreme Court, on Thursday attacked the proposed changes as a “wild attack on the legal system” and said they were “aimed at dealing a fatal blow to the independence of the judicial system.”
The proposed reforms, announced last week by Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin, would seek to reform Supreme Court nominations via a review committee, and enable parliament to overturn Supreme Court rulings.