Netanyahu arrives in London, greeted by protesters calling on him to withdraw controversial court reform

Netanyahu in London with Sunak / Photo EPA-EFE/TOLGA AKMEN

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with his British counterpart Rishi Sunak in London as protests continue in Israel over his judicial reform, which critics say is leading the country towards an autocracy. Outside Downing Street, the two leaders could hear loud cheers from Jewish protesters waving Israeli flags and carrying placards saying they aim to save Israeli democracy.

One protester's poster read that Netanyahu is a dictator on the run. His right-wing nationalist coalition approved a law that would protect him from being declared unfit to govern. Critics believe the law is designed to protect him from corruption trials.

Netanyahu's office said it expected he and the British prime minister to focus on the Iran issue in an effort to form a united international front against Iran to halt its nuclear program.

"The two are also expected to discuss strengthening strategic ties between Israel and the United Kingdom and increasing security and intelligence cooperation," the statement said.

The Israeli leader will also meet with Interior Minister Suella Braverman to discuss the challenge of global terrorism, the statement added.

In Israel, traffic is blocked on major roads, and during the protests that have swept the country in recent weeks, there have been clashes with the police. After a series of scandals involving his wealthy associates, Netanyahu is on trial for fraud, breach of trust and bribery. He denies guilt. Critics say his government, the most right-wing in Israel's history, is dragging the nation toward authoritarianism, undermining the system of checks and balances.

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