The Israeli Supreme Court delivered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a major defeat in his efforts to overhaul the country’s judicial system on Monday.
The court struck down a component of Netanyahu’s reforms that banned judges from overturning government decisions the court deems ‘unreasonable.’ Netanyahu’s government had passed the legislation in July.
In the 8-7 decision, the court argued the law threatened a ‘severe and unprecedented harm to the core character of the State of Israel as a democratic country.’
Controversy around Netanyahu’s reform efforts led to widespread unrest in Israel throughout the summer, with tens of thousands of citizens protesting the move. That division was essentially set aside following Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre, however.
Netanyahu will now have to manage his battle with the courts in tandem with the war against Hamas in Gaza. He affirmed in the final days of 2023 that the war would go on ‘many more months.’
The IDF announced a partial withdrawal of some troops operating in Gaza on Monday. Officials say the move marks a new phase in the conflict in which Israel will take a more targeted approach against the remaining Hamas militants.
Israel has taken control of virtually all the territory within Gaza, but Hamas terrorists continue to operate with ambush attacks thanks to their vast network of underground tunnels.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.