On 27 March 2023, airport workers, banks, businesses, embassies, labor unions, hospitals and universities participated in a nationwide strike in opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed judicial reforms and the dismissal of the country’s defense minister, who opposed the reforms. All flights at Ben Gurion Airport (LLBG/TLV) are suspended until further notice while airport workers participate in the strike. The port of Ashdod is also shuttered. However, hospital emergency departments and other emergency services will continue to operate, and the defense sector will operate at its regular capacity.

In Tel Aviv, demonstrators blocked the Ayalon highway. Meanwhile in Jerusalem, several thousand demonstrators gathered outside the Knesset – Israel’s parliament – while three protesters entered the Knesset demanding that the education minister resign. The demonstrators were escorted out peacefully. Several dozen protesters blocked the main southern highway near Yotvata, and in the southern cities of Be’er Sheva and Eilat, demonstrators blocked key intersections.

Analyst Comment: There are increasing concerns of violence as the protests enter the evening hours in Israel. A pro-reform rally has been called for in front of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem for 1800 local time (1500 UTC) on 27 March. Reports indicate far-right groups that support the reform have been calling for violence on social media, encouraging their supporters to take up weapons, including guns and knives, against anti-reform protesters. Additional security personnel have been deployed across the country as a result of the statements.