Israel faces ‘civil war' after approval of controversial judicial bill: Former premier

Israel faces ‘civil war' after approval of controversial judicial bill: Former premier

'The government has decided to threaten the foundations of Israeli democracy,' says Ehud Olmert

By Betul Yuruk

NEW YORK (AA) - Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that the country is entering a civil war after the Knesset approved a controversial bill limiting the Supreme Court’s ability to challenge government decisions.

''There is a threat. It is a serious threat. It’s never happened before, and we are going into a civil war now,” Olmert told the British media.

''The government has decided to threaten the foundations of Israeli democracy, and this is not something that we can accept or that we can tolerate,'' he said.

Earlier on Monday, the Knesset, or Israeli parliament, approved a bill sought by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to restrict the Supreme Court's power to overrule government actions.

The contentious judicial overhaul plan has triggered 29 weeks of mass protests, some of the biggest in Israel's history.

The government says the package is meant to restore power to elected officials, but critics argue it is a power grab by Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption.


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