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Israeli pandemonium as employees strike, ports close, and authorities oppose Netanyahu’s judicial makeover

On Sunday night, tensions flared again as Netanyahu dismissed Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who had spoken out against the reforms as the first member of the ruling Likud Party.

On Monday, hundreds of thousands of Israelis went on strike to oppose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic proposal to reform the country’s judicial system.

After the first member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party to speak out against the reforms on Sunday night, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was fired, setting off a wave of protests across the country. Conflicting opinions about the plans, Gallant had said, posed a threat to Israeli safety.

Tens of thousands demonstrated in Tel Aviv, and police used water cannons to disperse the crowd. Unrest was also reported in Beersheba, Haifa, and Jerusalem. According to Reuters, crowds in Jerusalem stormed Netanyahu’s house at one point, breaking through a security cordon.

According to an unnamed diplomat who spoke with NBC News on condition of anonymity, Israeli diplomats went on strike on Monday at the suggestion of their union. As a result, the Israeli embassies in Washington and elsewhere around the world closed, and some diplomats even changed their profile pictures to ones depicting the Israeli flag.

Thousands took to the streets in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem with Israeli flags and signs, prompting an appeal for calm from Netanyahu in the afternoon.

Right-wing and left-wing protesters alike in Jerusalem: Please act properly and avoid violence.

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