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Israeli president hosts talks between gov’t, opposition on judicial overhaul crisis

Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Monday hosted a negotiation session between the ruling coalition government and opposition over the judicial overhaul crisis.

“The discussion dealt with building the framework for the continuation of the negotiations after Passover [Jewish holiday], when the parties will meet to discuss the essential issues […] with the aim of trying to reach agreements,” Herzog’s office said in a statement.

The Israeli opposition was represented by former Prime Minister Yaid Lapid, the head of Yesh Atid (There is a Future) Party, and former Defense Minister Benny Gantz, the head of the National Unity alliance.

“The discussions lasted several hours and were conducted in a matter-of-face, in-depth and serious manner with a positive atmosphere,” the statement said.

Protests against the planned judicial reform continued for the 14th consecutive week on Saturday with thousands of Israelis taking to the streets.

The Israeli opposition views the judicial overhaul plans as an attempt to reduce the powers of the judicial authority in favor of the executive.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists that his judicial plans would enhance democracy and restore the balance between the legislative, executive, and judicial powers.

On March 27, Netanyahu bowed to pressure and announced a temporary halt to the judicial overhaul plans.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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