Photo Credit: Tomer Neuberg / Flash 90
Israelis march as they protest against the Israeli government's planned judicial overhaul, in Tel Aviv, March 4, 2023.

Israel Police Chief Kobi Shabtai vowed Saturday night not to allow the anti-government protesters in Tel Aviv to block main arteries around the city.

Demonstrators have repeatedly attempted to block the Ayalon Highway in their efforts to make their views known.


Speaking to reporters from a police command center in Tel Aviv – ground zero for the “resistance” movement that was triggered by the government’s planned judicial reforms, Shabtai appealed to the demonstrators to “lower the flames.”

“Police aren’t anyone’s enemy,” he said. “We are here to protect the public and allow freedom of protest. But in a protest in a democracy, there are boundaries, and we expect them to be respected,” he warned.

“We will not allow vandalism or blocking of main arteries and especially not attacks on officers.”

Tens of thousands of Israelis gathered for the ninth week in a row on Saturday night to protest against the judicial reform.

Protests were organized at 95 locations across Israel, with several demonstrations to be held in Tel Aviv.

Approximately 160,000 protesters gathered at the main rally in Tel Aviv, according to Israel’s Channel 13 News. Nearly 20,000 were gathered in Netanya, the news outlet reported, quoting Crowd Solutions. Another 16,500 were gathered in Haifa, more than 13,000 in Kfar Saba and more than 5,000 in Herzliya.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.