Israel: Herzog Calls on Arabs to Participate in Dialogue on Judicial Reforms

Model of a fighter aircraft during protests in Tel Aviv against Netanyahu’s government plans. (AP)
Model of a fighter aircraft during protests in Tel Aviv against Netanyahu’s government plans. (AP)
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Israel: Herzog Calls on Arabs to Participate in Dialogue on Judicial Reforms

Model of a fighter aircraft during protests in Tel Aviv against Netanyahu’s government plans. (AP)
Model of a fighter aircraft during protests in Tel Aviv against Netanyahu’s government plans. (AP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he will not seek to further advance a bill that is personally related to him.

Meanwhile, Israeli President Isaac Herzog urged Arab parties' representatives to participate in the dialogue on judicial reforms, similar to other Israeli political parties.

Netanyahu spoke confidently on Wednesday that he had reached a mid-way solution with the opposition regarding the judicial amendments, which had drawn criticism from US President Joe Biden.

Addressing the US-led Summit for Democracy, he said the negotiators will "try to achieve a broad national consensus to achieve both goals. We're now engaged in exactly this conversation".

In this context, Herzog met on Wednesday with a Hadash-Ta’al delegation consisting of five deputies.

The MPs asserted their objection to the “judicial coup” which could undermine the Arab citizens' rights and ban real democracy.

The delegation warned of the danger of forming armed militias called the ‘National Guard’ under Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

These militias would target Arabs and Palestinians in Jerusalem with no supervision, it added.

Lawmaker Ayman Odeh said after the meeting that the delegation stressed two points. The first is that it is part of the protests movement and hopes for its success. But the initial and real success is to continue until ousting this government, and this is possible, Odeh said.

The second point is that democracy doesn’t mean returning the old Ashkenazi elite but its means democracy for all. Ending occupation, the Nation-State Bill, and discrimination against Arab citizens come at its core.

Herzog started the dialogue on Tuesday between the government representatives and Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party led by Yair Lapid and the State Camp party run by Benny Gantz.

The dialogue was resumed on Wednesday with the rest of the parties, and they discussed laying common bases to carry out the reforms in the two laws as per the mid-way plan proposed by him two weeks ago.

Although the government representatives refused it then, they later approved it as a foundation that could change. But the opposition doubted the government’s intention.

Netanyahu responded to the opposition and a number of his deputies and ministers and withdrew the “Gifts Law” but considered the second law “only a technical procedure”.

For his part, Justice Minister Yariv Levin stated that the legislation will be renewed after the holidays.

The ‘Gifts Law’ which was halted by Netanyahu allows the prime minister to get donations to fund his trial for any charge including corruption.

If the law is passed, then Netanyahu can keep the $300,000 that was donated by a relative to fund his legal expenses. Israel's high court ordered Netanyahu to pay back $270,000 out of this amount.



Israeli Strikes Reportedly Target Hezbollah Ammunition Depot in Lebanon

Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024.  (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
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Israeli Strikes Reportedly Target Hezbollah Ammunition Depot in Lebanon

Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024.  (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)
Lebanese army soldiers check the wreckage of a vehicle after an Israeli airstrike targeted the area near the village of Burj al-Muluk, some 18 kms from the town of Nabatiyeh on July 20, 2024. (Photo by Rabih DAHER / AFP)

Israeli strikes late on Saturday targeted a depot storing ammunition belonging to Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, three security sources told Reuters.

The strikes on the town of Adloun, about 40 km north of Lebanon's border with Israel, set off a string of loud explosions heard by witnesses across the south of Lebanon.

Hezbollah said that its fighters fired dozens of rockets into northern Israel on Saturday, targeting a kibbutz for the first time in nine months in retaliation for an Israeli drone strike earlier in the day that wounded several people including children.
Also Saturday, Hamas said it fired rockets from Lebanon toward an Israeli army post in the northern Israeli village of Shomera in retaliation for the “Zionists massacres” in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has carried out such attacks form Lebanon over the past several months, but they have been rare.
Hezbollah’s attack with dozens of Katyusha rockets on the northern Israeli kibbutz of Dafna came few hours after an Israeli drone strike hit a car in the southern Lebanese village of Burj al-Muluk, and shrapnel from the missile wounded several people who were standing nearby. The state-run National News Agency said that the wounded civilians are Syrian citizens and they included children.

The Israeli military said that about 45 projectiles were detected crossing from Lebanon into northern Israel in three separate barrages. It said that some were intercepted, while others fell in open areas, causing no injuries, but triggering several fires in the Golan Heights.