Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces severe domestic crisis as doctors declare strike and army reservists protest judicial overhaul.
Tel Aviv Protesters Block Ayalon Highway After Controversial Parliament Vote on Supreme Court Powers, July 24, 2023. (Photo: Reuters)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing a severe domestic crisis as doctors and army reservists protest the government’s ratification of the first stage of a judicial overhaul. On Tuesday, Israeli doctors declared a strike, and an increasing number of army reservists have requested to halt their service in response to the changes they believe threaten democracy.
The military took internal disciplinary action against some reservists who ignored call-ups. Brigadier General Daniel Hagari confirmed that there has been a rise in requests to abstain from volunteer service, which could impact military preparedness over time.
Protesters, including tech workers concerned about the judiciary changes, expressed their discontent through demonstrations, while opposition leaders filed appeals against the new law in the Supreme Court.
The crisis has divided Israeli society and has economic consequences, with foreign investors fleeing, weakening the currency, and potential risks of a general strike. The situation also strained Israel’s relations with Western allies, including the United States, which expressed concern over the recent vote.
Netanyahu aims to achieve consensus on further legislation by November, while his counterpart, Yoav Gallant, assured that Israel remains a strong democracy.
COURT ORDERS DOCTORS BACK TO WORK
Israel Medical Association calls 24-hour strike, but Tel Aviv Regional Labour Court orders doctors back to work, supporting government injunction. Physicians express dissent over the perceived threat to democracy. Disquiet also spreads to the arts.
Netanyahu’s ultra-Orthodox coalition partners aim to secure military service exemptions for seminary students, causing further controversy. Netanyahu faces a corruption trial, denies wrongdoing, and recently received a pacemaker. The coalition’s expansion of Jewish settlements strains relations with the US.
Israeli troops kill three Palestinian militants who opened fire from a car near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, as confirmed by Israel’s defense minister. Meanwhile, the Israeli military verifies a video showing masked men in commando clothing on the Lebanese side of the border fence, allegedly members of a Hezbollah elite unit on patrol.
However, this incident is unrelated to Israel’s domestic crisis. Hezbollah’s media office has no comment. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, commented earlier that Israel’s internal crisis reflects its vulnerability to collapse and fragmentation.