UPDATE - 'Day of Resistance': Israeli police arrest 17 in protests against judicial overhaul plan

UPDATE - 'Day of Resistance': Israeli police arrest 17 in protests against judicial overhaul plan

Israelis take to streets to protest government's planned changes to judiciary, block streets

UPDATES WITH MORE ARRESTS, ADDITIONAL INFO; CHANGES HEADLINE, DECK, LEDE

By Abdelraouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) – The Israeli police on Tuesday arrested 17 protests amid the "Day of Resistance" demonstrations against the government's plan to overhaul the justice system.

The Israeli police said it arrested 17 people in various locations on suspicion of "blocking roads and violating public order."

The number of arrests is increasing as the protests continue, which are expected to last until this evening.

The demonstrators blocked many roads, especially in the Tel Aviv region, in the center of the country, the police said in a statement.

Local television channels showed scores of Israelis blocking streets and waving Israeli flags.

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, a huge demonstration outside the headquarters of Histadrut, Israel's trade union, in Jerusalem is taking place to demand that the trade union join the protests.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Israel Broadcasting Authority said demonstrators closed a part of Kaplan street to traffic in Tel Aviv. The road linking Tel Aviv and Haifa was closed in both directions, it also reported.

It also said a group of protesters also stormed the stock exchange building in the city of Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv.

Israel has been in political turmoil in recent months over the planned judicial reform, which the opposition has called a power grab in favor of executive authority.

The Israeli opposition accuses Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is on trial on corruption charges, of using the judicial overhaul to protect himself from the courts.

Netanyahu denies the charges and rejects any link between the judicial changes and his own case.


*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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