Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed judicial reforms have sparked widespread protests in Israel and raised concerns among Palestinians. The reforms, which aim to limit the powers of the Supreme Court, have been met with opposition from Israelis who fear the erosion of democracy and human rights. Palestinians, on the other hand, worry that a weakened Supreme Court could lead to an expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and a potential annexation of the territory.
The proposed overhaul has been described as a “judicial coup” by Sawsan Zaher, a Palestinian human rights lawyer. She believes the reforms could facilitate the annexation of the West Bank without any critique or review from the Supreme Court. Netanyahu’s government, which includes several West Bank settlers in key positions, has approved a record number of housing units in West Bank settlements since coming into power.
The first bill of the overhaul, which strips the Supreme Court of the power to declare government decisions unreasonable, was passed in July. Supporters argue that the judicial system in Israel is flawed and gives too much power to the court. However, critics fear that the reforms could eliminate the few legal recourses available to Palestinians.
The Supreme Court has occasionally provided specific protections for situations where private property of Palestinians has been infringed. However, Zaher argues that the court has rarely protected Palestinian rights in the West Bank. Palestinians fear that the proposed reforms could remove any remaining mechanisms that can override policies viewed as violations of their rights.
Read more at CNN.