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Judicial reform to resume after Passover: Israeli minister

Israeli Minister of Transport Miri Regev said Sunday the government will move forward with its judicial reform plan immediately after the Passover break.

“The reform was only put on [temporary] hold and there is a [known] date for the next session – immediately after Independence Day [on April 25] we are continuing with the legislation,” Regev stated in statements cited by The Jerusalem Post newspaper.

Regev said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “paused [legislation] to allow for negotiation, but if there will be none, we will bring it [back up] for reconfirmation.”

In response, opposition leader Avigdor Lieberman called on the Israeli opposition parties to freeze negotiations with the government on the judicial reform law.

“Stop selling illusions and conducting negotiations as it were, when everyone knows that at the end of the “negotiations” process, Netanyahu will, as usual, instigate and blame the opposition and the rest of the world for not reaching an agreement,” Lieberman tweeted.

“He [Netanyahu] has a clear plan to pass the legislation, don’t let it happen,” he added.

Israel has seen mass protests over the past three months against plans by Netanyahu’s government for judicial reform, seen by the opposition as an attempt to reduce the powers of the judicial authority in favor of the executive.

However, Netanyahu insists that his judicial plan would enhance democracy and would restore the balance between the legislative, executive, and judicial powers.

On Monday, Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, bowed to pressure and announced a temporary halt to the judicial overhaul plans.

*Ikram Kouachi in Ankara contributed to this report

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