Germany voices concern over Israel's judicial overhaul law

Germany voices concern over Israel's judicial overhaul law

Chancellor Scholz 'shared his concerns' with Israeli Premier Netanyahu, President Herzog, says gov't spokesman

By Oliver Towfigh Nia

BERLIN (AA) – Germany on Wednesday expressed “concern” after Israel's parliament ratified Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's contested judicial overhaul bill.

The German government noted with some concern the decision of the Israeli parliament, which passed the bill with a majority on Monday, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said at a routine press briefing in Berlin.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz “shared his concerns” in his talks with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog, Hebestreit added.

He urged the prime minister to seek a broad political consensus aimed at de-escalating societal tensions.

"It remains clear to us that, due to our close ties to Israel and its people, we are concerned about the tensions in Israeli society. We support the efforts of the Israeli president to find a compromise that is supported by a broad base of society,” Hebestreit said.

On Monday, Israel's parliament, or Knesset, approved an initial bill aimed at curbing the Supreme Court's powers, despite months of street protest.

Thousands of protesters rallied outside the Israeli parliament desperate to make a last-ditch effort to press the parliamentarians inside to stop the government’s controversial legislation to overhaul the judiciary.

The opposition members of the Knesset boycotted the final vote on Monday afternoon after it became evident that the far-right government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to compromise, and last-minute negotiations collapsed.

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