Israel PM Netanyahu delays judicial overhaul after protests

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that a controversial plan to overhaul the country’s judiciary will be delayed after months of protests, growing labor strikes and opposition from within his own government.

When there’s an opportunity to avoid civil war through dialogue, I, as prime minister, am taking time out for dialogue,” Netanyahu said in a nationally televised address on Monday.

He said he was determined to pass a judicial reform but called for “an attempt to achieve broad consensus”. The delay means that the bill will not be put to a vote in parliament until the end of April at the earliest.

The government’s plan to tighten parliament’s control over judicial processes has triggered some of the biggest mass protests in Israeli history, with the plan’s opponents calling the move a threat to democracy.