Israelis protest judicial overhaul amid Gaza conflict

STORY: The main Tel Aviv protest started a few hours before a truce between Israel and the militant Islamic Jihad group in Gaza took effect, and amid a backdrop of air raid sirens sounding as far as Tel Aviv's suburbs.

"If life is still going on it means that we are going to keep the protests and we are going to do whatever we are doing every other week.. to keep Israel a democratic state," protester Yoram Gadot said.

"Although the conflict in Gaza continues and my heart is going for the Israeli citizens and the Palestinian citizens who are suffering from this conflict, we keep on fighting for democracy, and we cannot stop," fellow protester Shoshi Zin added.

The planned judicial overhaul, which would give the government control over naming judges to the Supreme Court and let parliament override many rulings, was paused after opponents organized some of the biggest street protests ever seen in Israel.

The government says the overhaul is needed to restore balance between the judiciary and elected politicians, while critics say it will remove vital checks and balances underpinning a democratic state and hand unchecked power to the government.