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Israel's Premier Netanyahu delays departure to UK

Israel's prime minister will be departing for a planned visit to the UK hours after originally planned due to continuing protests against his government's judicial overhaul plans, local reports said on Thursday. Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to visit London late Thursday, but his departure was delayed until 4.00 a.m. (0200GMT), according to Amichai Stein, a journalist with public broadcaster KAN.

He is also scheduled to make a statement to the media at 8.00 p.m. at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, Stein said on Twitter.

Also, Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is expected to give a speech on Thursday evening to call for a halt to the judicial overhaul's legislation process.

Israel has been experiencing mass protests for the past 12 weeks against the government's judicial reform plan, seen by critics as an attempt to reduce the powers of the judicial authority in favor of the executive.

Proposed by Justice Minister Yariv Levin, the reform, if enacted, would be the most radical change ever in Israel's system of government.

The change would severely limit the power of the Israeli Supreme Court, give the government the power to choose judges, and end the appointment of legal advisers to ministries by the attorney general.

However, Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, insists that the plan would enhance democracy and would restore the balance between the legislative, executive, and judicial powers.

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