German president ‘concerned, about Israeli judicial reform

German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier has expressed concern over the Israeli government's planned judicial reform, warning the bill could threaten the country’s democracy.

The German leader issued a statement on Thursday, saying he was concerned by the proposed reform package put forward by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The bill, which would give the government greater control over the Supreme Court, is seen by critics as an attempt to erode the independence of Israel's judiciary.

Steinmeier said: “The German government is watching developments in Israel with concern. A strong democracy needs an independent judiciary.”

He added that it was essential for the separation of powers to be respected in a democracy.

The German president's comments come as the Israeli government presses ahead with its judicial reform plans, despite criticism from a wide range of public figures.

The bill has been criticised by the heads of Israel’s security services, including the Shin Bet, Mossad and the IDF, who have warned that it could undermine the country’s democracy.

It has also been opposed by legal experts, human rights organisations and the United Nations.

Netanyahu has defended the bill, saying it would protect the “rule of law” in the country.

The German president's intervention is likely to further complicate the Israeli government's efforts to push the bill through parliament.

The bill is expected to be put to a vote in the Knesset in the coming weeks. If it is passed, it could have far-reaching implications for Israel's legal system.