Benjamin Netanyahu > World Economic Forum / Manuel Lopez, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

A huge protest by thousands of Israelis opposing the Netanyahu government’s judicial reforms took place across Ben Gurion airport on Monday.

Chants of ‘democracy’ and ‘this government is criminal’ rang through the arrivals hall, while passengers arriving into Israel greeted by the deafening sound of horns and drums, and the waving of hundreds of Israeli flags.

The airport protest follows many weeks of major protests across Israel in opposition to the reform proposals, which the government hopes to resurrect despite having frozen them for several months in the face of overwhelming opposition.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid has refused to call for an end to the protests against moves by the government to restrict the independence of Israeli judges.

“What should have happened today is for the government to stop the legislation,” he said.

“Then there would be space to end the demonstration at Ben Gurion. This is what the organisers said, too. Protesters have a full right to demonstrate in a democratic country – as long as we are a democratic country.”