Netanyahu softens judicial overhaul after Biden call
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a softening on Monday of his hard-right government's judicial overhaul plan, an apparent bid to calm more than two months of unprecedented nationwide protests and misgivings voiced by Western allies.
The announcement followed a call to Netanyahu by U.S. President Joe Biden who, according to the White House, voiced support for a compromise in Israel's constitutional crisis and encouraged checks and balances and building a broad consensus.
There was no immediate response from the Israeli political opposition. Protest leaders accused Netanyahu of a ruse and threatened escalation. The already shaken shekel slipped another 0.4% versus the dollar while Tel Aviv shares opened 0.5% lower.
Wielding a parliamentary majority, Netanyahu had looked set to ratify the package of reforms by the Knesset's April 2 recess. But most would now be shelved until it reconvenes on April 30, he and religious-nationalist coalition allies said.