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New Netanyahu government to weaken Israeli Supreme Court

New Netanyahu government to weaken Israeli Supreme Court

Jerusalem: Inviting strong criticism domestically and internationally, Israel's new administration led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has invoked hardline policies in the country, IANS reported.

The leader, who is considered the country's most rightist in history, told his party meeting, "We are not waiting, and I think the citizens of Israel already feel this. We formed a different government, with different policies, and we run things differently."

Xinhua news agency reported that the Netanyahu government initiated its detailed plan to weaken the Supreme Court's power in the country while enhancing the government's grip, a first here, on Wednesday.

The draft legislation would cancel the Supreme Court's ability to cancel laws passed by Parliament even if the law is deemed unconstitutional or a violation of basic human rights.

Further, the bill mandates that seven of the 11 members of a committee responsible for the appointment of new judges will be chosen by the government. This is when a majority of six of the committee members is enough to approve appointments.

The Israel PM, who is facing criminal trial on corruption charges, also said on Monday, "We received a clear mandate from the public to carry out what we promised in the elections, and this is what we will do."

Meanwhile, seven former attorneys general and four other former senior legal officials denounced the proposed bill through a letter they issued on Wednesday.

The letter read, "We call on the government to withdraw the proposed plan and prevent serious harm to the justice system and the rule of law."

It is not just the legal system Israel is planning to violate. New National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on January 3, a sensitive site in East Jerusalem holy to both Muslims and Jews. His visit has gathered flak from the Muslim world, including the Gulf states that have normalized relations with Israel. He also issued orders to confiscate Palestinian from being flown in public places in Israel.

On January 6, the Israeli security cabinet decided to cut about $39.6 million from the tax money the Israeli government collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and freeze building permits in Area C, which is under full Israeli control in the occupied West Bank.

The decision came after the Palestinian Authority's approach to the International Court of Justice in the Hague for an opinion on the legal consequences of Israel's 55-year occupation of Palestinian territories.

The punitive steps were taken as a "response to the Palestinian Authority's decision to wage political and legal war against the State of Israel," Netanyahu's office said in a statement on January 6.

Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, on which the Palestinians want to establish an independent state, and has since controlled or besieged them despite a Palestinian struggle and international criticism.

In 1967, Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where Palestinians wanted to establish an independent state. Israel has controlled and besieged the area since, although there were protests and criticisms from both Palestinians and the international community.

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