Driver rams car into judicial reform protesters in Israel

Three people were injured in Israel after a driver rammed into a crowd of protesters rallying against the country’s judicial reform

Driver rams car into judicial reform protesters in Israel
25 Jul, 2023 02:41 HomeWorld News

Driver rams car into judicial reform protesters in Israel

Three people were injured in the incident as demonstrations and clashes with police intensified on Monday

Three people were injured in Israel after a driver rammed into a crowd of protesters during a rally against the country’s highly controversial judicial reform. Clashes with police have erupted during demonstrations in several cities, resulting in dozens of arrests. 

In a video of the attack circulating online, a white vehicle is seen accelerating through the crowd and over a small bonfire, kicking up a plume of flames as protesters fled in panic. Three people were “lightly wounded” in the ramming, Haaretz reported, citing police.

A male suspect in his 20s was arrested, local police told the outlet. Israeli journalist Noga Tarnopolsky later described the man as a “West Bank settler.”

Demonstrators also blocked a number of roads and highways. The Ayalon freeway near Tel Aviv was obstructed with crowds, fires and barricades for several hours before law enforcement intervened. According to the Times of Israel, many remained in the area afterward, while up to 15,000 were reportedly on the Ayalon freeway at the peak of the protest.

Following the contentious Knesset vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a video statement, saying he was willing to renew talks over the reform with his opponents. Seeking to reassure critics of the bill, he insisted that “no side will take over the court.”

In his own video, opposition leader Yair Lapid denounced the premier for “lies” and “empty theater,” saying he was merely aiming to “lull the protests to sleep.” The lawmaker went on to declare that Netanyahu’s “extremist and messianic government cannot tear our democracy apart in the afternoon, and in the evening say that he proposes dialogue.”