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Israeli protesters back government's judicial overhaul

Protesters supporting the Israeli government's judicial reform proposals numbered in the thousands and blocked a Tel Aviv highway
— Tel Aviv (AFP)

Supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-right government blocked a Tel Aviv highway on Thursday in their first major protest in the coastal city backing controversial judicial reforms.

After three months of tensions that split the nation, triggered protests by tens of thousands, and a general strike, Netanyahu on Monday announced a "pause" for dialogue on the measures.

"The people want a judicial reform," chanted the protesters who numbered in the thousands, according to AFP journalists.

Tel Aviv, a liberal stronghold and Israel's commercial hub, has seen weekly mass demonstrations by critics of the government's overhaul since it was announced in early January, decrying what they view as a threat to democracy.

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