(Jerusalem) Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged Thursday evening to “end the division among the people”, after nearly three months of massive protests against the justice reform bill under consideration in Parliament .

Mr. Netanyahu, who had so far remained in the background on this issue, announced that he was “entering the scene” and that he was determined to push forward the reform, but that he would do everything to “reach a solution acceptable to both the project’s defenders and its detractors.

“We cannot allow a dispute, no matter how acute, to jeopardize our common futureā€¦ Opponents of reform are not traitors, supporters are not fascists,” he said. – he declared referring to the favorite invectives of each of the two camps against the other.

“I will do everything, everything, in order to calm the spirits and end the division among the people,” he said again.

He himself had repeatedly called the protesters in recent weeks supporters of “anarchy”.

The reform aims to increase the power of elected officials over that of magistrates. According to its critics, it jeopardizes the democratic character of the State of Israel.

Mr. Netanyahu and his far-right and ultra-Orthodox allies believe the reform is necessary to restore a balanced balance of power between elected officials and the Supreme Court, which they consider politicized.

The prime minister delivered his address to the nation after speaking with his defense minister, Yoav Gallant, who initially announced his intention to speak publicly in the early evening.

Mr. Gallant, who repeatedly called on the ruling coalition to pause the legislative process to allow negotiations with the opposition on reform, eventually backed off.

For a little over an hour, Israeli television spoke of the prospect of the minister’s resignation, or the scenario of a hypothetical explosion of the government coalition, one of the most right-wing in the history of Israel. .

Again Thursday, tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated against the reform during a new day of mobilization, punctuated by clashes between demonstrators and police.

In Tel Aviv, a dozen demonstrators were arrested for disturbing public order according to the police. Security forces used water cannons to disperse the crowd that had blocked the city’s ring road, according to an AFP journalist on the spot.

“If the vote [on the law] on the [composition of the commission responsible for] appointing judges passes next week [in parliament], it’s the start of the dictatorship,” Nadav Golander told AFP. , a 37-year-old protester, who works in advertising.

This text is one of the central elements of the reform. It was amended these days in committee to soften its content with a view to achieving a wider vote, and Mr. Netanyahu confirmed that it would indeed be put to the vote of the deputies for adoption in plenary session “next week “.