March 3rd, 2024

Israel’s Supreme Court overturns a key component of Netanyahu’s polarizing judicial overhaul

By The Associated Press on January 1, 2024.

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday struck down a key component of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s contentious judicial overhaul, a decision that threatens to reopen the fissures in Israeli society that preceded the country’s ongoing war against Hamas.

Those divisions were largely been put aside while the country focuses on the war, which was triggered by a bloody cross-border attack by Hamas. Monday’s court decision could reignite those tensions, which sparked months of mass protests against the government and had rattled the cohesion of the powerful military.

There was no immediate reaction from Netanyahu.

In Monday’s 8-7 majority decision, the court narrowly voted to overturn a law passed in July that prevents judges from overturning government decisions they deem “unreasonable.”

Opponents had argued that Netanyahu’s efforts to remove the standard of reasonability opens the door to corruption and improper appointments of unqualified cronies to important positions.

The law was the first in the planned overhaul of the justice system.

The overhaul was put on hold after Hamas militants carried out their Oct. 7 attack, killing some 1,200 people and kidnapping 240 others.

Israel immediately declared war, and is pressing forward with an offensive that Palestinian health officials say has killed nearly 22,000 people in Gaza.

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