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Israel’s Supreme Court decided on Monday to strike down a key component of the controversial judicial overhaul plan that was advanced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

The judges ruled by a slim majority of eight to seven to throw out the law.

The measure, passed in July last year, limited the Supreme Court’s oversight of government actions and curtailed its ability to veto decisions and appointments on the basis of “reasonability”.

The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, amended the Basic Law of Israel on July 24 with a majority of 64 votes in favor, enacting the legislation into law.

The approval came despite months of intense mass protest in the country and international condemnation from Israel’s allies, including the United Nations.

The proposed judicial reforms have been hotly debated since Netanyahu returned to power in December 2022, at the helm of the most right-wing government ever to lead the country.

While he claimed the moves were necessary to “restore the balance between the branches of government,” critics have argued that it effectively neuters the Supreme Court, and with it the notion of a democratic Israel.

Israel’s ruling coalition objected to Monday’s ruling. Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin said that it opposes the “spirit of unity” required in times of war.

The country’s opposition parties expressed support for the decision, with opposition leader Yair Lapid saying that the court has his full backing in “its role in protecting the citizens of Israel.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: MathKnight, via Wikimedia Commons)

Source: PC, Anadolu

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