Israeli mass protests against reforms block roads and airport


Protesters in Israel have blocked roads and attempted to stop the prime minister flying out the country amid nationwide demonstrations against controversial judicial reforms. Vehicles obstructed access roads to Ben Gurion airport, from where Benjamin Netanyahu is due to fly to Rome. The weeks-old protests are some of the biggest Israel has ever seen. Critics say the reforms will undermine democracy; the government says planned changes are better for the electorate. Thousands of protesters, many waving Israeli flags and carrying signs with slogans against the reforms, massed on main roads in Tel Aviv, causing major disruption to traffic. A line of police on horseback stood by as the demonstrators flowed past, with some chanting to the police: “We’re also here for you,” Haaretz newspaper reported. Meanwhile convoys of cars streamed towards the airport from early morning, causing gridlock at the entrance to try to block Mr Netanyahu from leaving for Rome. US defence secretary Lloyd Austin landed at the airport on Thursday and was reportedly forced to alter his schedule because of the protests.(BBC)…[+]