Thu, 08 Jun 2023

Tel Aviv [Israel], March 28 (ANI): Israeli mission to the UN in Geneva released a statement saying they are taking part in the strike action, Anadolu reported.

Israeli diplomats in Switzerland decided Monday to join a general strike to protest plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to overhaul the judicial system, News Agency Anadolu reported.

"The Permanent Mission of Israel will remain closed until further notice and no consular services will be provided," it said in a statement.

Histadrut has called on all government employees, including those at Israel's diplomatic missions around the world, to go on strike, Anadolu reported.

In response to a call by the Histadrut, Israel's General Federation of Labour, Israel's embassy in Switzerland has also suspended its services.

"Following general strike instructions from the Israeli Labor union, the embassy's consular services are suspended until further notice. Thank you for your understanding," the embassy said on Twitter.

Following months-long protests against Israel's judicial overhaul, Netanyahu early Monday announced a delay to the controversial plans for judicial reform.

The reform plans have been decried by the opposition as a "power grab" in favour of the executive authority, Anadolu reported.

Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to back down on controversial plans to overhaul the country's judiciary on Monday, amid unprecedented nationwide strikes including a shutdown of the international airport, CNN reported.

Israel's Histadrut trade union which coordinated the strike said that some government ministries, the country's three biggest cities, banks, ports and many other companies and agencies were on strike on Monday and added that essential services such as hospitals and firefighters were to operate on a Saturday schedule, CNN reported.

Under the proposals, the Israeli government will have control over the appointment of judges, and parliament would have the power to override Supreme Court decisions, according to a CNN report. The Netanyahu-led government also sought to change the procedure of how judges are chosen and remove government ministries' independent legal advisers.

On Sunday, Israeli PM fired his defence minister Yoav Gallant, who had called for a halt to plans to overhaul the country's court system, CNN reported. Netanyahu's office announced Gallant's removal in a statement after he became the first member of the cabinet to break ranks over the proposals, which have sparked weeks of protests.

"Yoav Gallant called for a halt to the judicial reforms in a speech on Saturday. He said going ahead with the proposals could pose a threat to Israel's security. Protests had erupted in Israel's capital Tel Aviv after Netanyahu fired his Defence Minister Yoav Gallant for challenging his judicial overhaul plan.

The plan to remake the courts -- which would give Netanyahu's government greater power to handpick judges, including those presiding over his corruption trial, in which he is charged in three cases and faces potential prison time -- has pitted liberal and secular Jewish Israelis against more right-wing and religiously conservative factions, along a fault line long in emerging, Washington Post reported. (ANI)

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