Israeli PM vows to press on with troubled judicial reforms



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Sunday to advance the government's controversial judicial reforms, which have seen his premiership marred by mass protest against the proposed overhaul.

"We will come together this week and begin the practical measures," Netanyahu said at the start of a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

The reform package unveiled in January has been waylaid in recent months by demonstrators who have gathered weekly in their tens of thousands.

Netanyahu paused the legislative process in March and launched cross-party talks over the matter, but opposition leaders Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz pulled out of the discussions on Wednesday.

The country's top politicians blamed each other for the breakdown in negotiations.

Netanyahu accused the opposition leaders of "a charade of fake talks," after his predecessor Lapid said the prime minister had only been "pretending that he wants negotiations".

Speaking Sunday, Netanyahu pledged to press forward with the judicial reforms "in a measured and responsible way," without giving further details.

The multi-pronged program seeks to weaken the authority of the Supreme Court and give politicians more power in the selection of judges.

Lapid warned that "if Netanyahu advances the legal overhaul unilaterally like he declared, he'll discover he's the prime minister of less than half of Israel," in a statement published Sunday on Facebook.