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Israel going through ‘historic crisis’ over judicial reforms: Herzog

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has warned that the country is going through a “historic crisis” amid mass protests against government plans for judicial overhaul.

“We are in a historic crisis that threatens to destroy us from within,” Herzog said in a speech during a meeting with 100 mayors and heads of local councils on Monday.

“We are in one of the most difficult moments that the State of Israel has experienced. It seems like a paradox, doesn’t it? No missiles, no alarms, no red alert. But we all know deep down that this is a supreme national danger,” he added.

Israel has seen mass protests by thousands of Israelis over the past weeks against plans by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for judicial reform.

Proposed by Justice Minister Yariv Levin, the reform, if enacted, would be the most radical change ever in the system of government in Israel.

READ MORE: Israeli reserve pilots refuse training in protest over judicial reforms

Top court’s powers

The planned change would severely limit the power of the Supreme Court of Justice, give the government the power to choose judges, and end the appointment of legal advisers to ministries by the attorney general.

However, Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, insists that his judicial plan would enhance democracy.

Herzog said political rivals are closer than ever to reaching a compromise over the judicial overhaul crisis.

The Israeli president said he formulated an outline that “gives answers to both sides,” adding that his outline “anchors a healthy structure of balance between the authorities.”

“There are behind-the-scenes agreements on most things, they make sense and they are reasonable,” he added.

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