Despite Local Opposition, Netanyahus Plan Another Vacation at Golan Heights Hotel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, have decided to spend their vacation at a hotel in the Golan Heights, sparking a wave of opposition from local residents. This is the couple’s second visit to the area, following their previous vacation in August, which was met with protests and resulted in road closures. The local community had previously requested that the couple cancel their visit to the Panda Hotel in the moshav of Neve Ativ, citing the disruption it causes to their daily lives. Nevertheless, the couple has decided to proceed with their plans.
Previous Protests and Police Action
During the Netanyahus’ previous stay at the hotel, protests erupted against the coalition’s judicial overhaul plan. This led to heavy police restrictions on movement and the establishment of barriers at the entrances to the town. The High Court of Justice later ruled that there were mistakes in the police’s handling of the protests but dismissed petitions against police conduct.
Judicial Reform Sparks Nationwide Demonstrations
The protests are part of a broader movement against the Prime Minister’s far-right government and its judicial overhaul plans. These demonstrations have been occurring across Israel for the 38th consecutive week, with various groups participating. The protesters argue that the judicial reforms limit the court’s power, undermine its independence, and pave the way for the entrenchment of the policies of the current government.
Activists Challenge Police Restrictions
Protest organizer Amy Klein filed a petition challenging the police for restricting movement to the moshav, arguing that it is a public space. Klein’s lawyer, Gonen Ben Itzhak, stated that the High Court rulings regarding the freedom of demonstration do not permit the police to completely close a place and deny citizens the freedom of movement and the right to protest.
Legal Battle Over Protest Rights
Klein’s petition also challenged the authority of the police to stop them and argued that the blockades, checkpoints, and denial of entry violated the democratic right of activists to demonstrate. The court was asked to issue an interim order to allow the protests to occur from Tuesday until the time that the Prime Minister left the town.
Escalation of Protests
Activists have been rallying outside the houses of Israeli officials and other locations since the unveiling of the judicial reform in January. Demonstrations have escalated following the passing of the Law to Cancel the Reasonableness Standard on July 24. The current wave of protests indicates a marked escalation in the resistance against the Prime Minister’s policies and reflects growing public discontent.
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