JERUSALEM — Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday struck down a key component of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul, a decision that could lead to the reopening of cracks in the Israeli society amid ongoing war against Hamas.
Netanyahu’s planned overhaul led to mass protests and threatened to ignite a constitutional crisis between the judicial and legislative branches of government. It was paused after Hamas’ attack on October 7, sparking a bloody war between the two sides.
Israel quickly declared war, which has killed 1,200 people and kidnapping 240 others. They have vowed to push forward with an offensive that Palestinian health officials say has killed nearly 22,000 people in Gaza.
Thousands of cancer patients trapped in Gaza have run out of medications to treat their illnesses, the head of the Palestinian territory’s cancer hospital said.
“We have ten thousand cancer patients in dire and inhumane conditions,” said Dr. Subhi Skaik, director of the Al-Sadaqa Turkish-Palestinian hospital.
Justice Minister Yariv Levin, a Netanyahu ally, blasted the decision as “the opposite of the spirit of unity required these days for the success of our soldiers on the front.”
Levin added the decision will not “discourage” the side from continuing a path forward.
“As the campaigns are continuing on different fronts, we will continue to act with restraint and responsibility,” he said.
In an 8-7 vote, the Supreme Court voted against the law, saying it would result in “severe and unprecedented harm to the core character of the State of Israel as a democratic country.”
The decision is a major blow to Netanyahu and his allies, who could decide to ignore Monday’s ruling, setting up a constitutional showdown over which branch of government has the right to rule.
Netanyahu’s proposed law includes curbing the power of the judges by limiting the Supreme Court’s ability to review parliamentary decisions and changing the way judges are appointed.