Israel's ruling coalition presented on Monday an amended version of a key element in its contentious judicial overhaul, in hopes of allaying concerns at home and abroad for Israeli democracy.
The country has seen 11 consecutive weeks of mass demonstrations against the proposed reforms, which are already moving through parliament and would give politicians more power over the courts.
A bill to change the way judges are selected has been amended after a first-reading vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party said on Monday, arguing it would bring more balance to the court system.
The new version, which the party said its members had endorsed, would put more lawmakers and members of the judiciary in the judicial appointments panel than the initial text.
Opponents of the package have accused Netanyahu, who is on trial on a corruption charge he denies, of trying to use the reforms to quash possible judgments against him. The prime minister has rejected the accusation.
The right-wing Likud party defended the new version, which it said "won't enable the coalition or opposition to take over the court, but ensures diversity in the selection of justices."
Opposition head Yair Lapid said it was a "lie" that the new version represents a compromise.
"If the change in the committee to select judges passes, it will constitute a hostile and dangerous takeover of the court system by ruthless politicians," Lapid said in a statement.
The modified bill would need to pass a vote at parliament's law committee before a second and third, final reading by the full chamber.
In a call Sunday with Netanyahu, US President Joe Biden voiced support for a "compromise" and stressed the importance of "genuine checks and balances," the White House said.
Netanyahu's coalition, which took office late last year and includes ultra-Orthodox Jewish and extreme-right parties, argues its proposed reforms are needed to limit judicial overreach.
Critics say the measures, which include allowing lawmakers to override some Supreme Court decisions and preventing judges from striking down legislation, threaten Israel's democracy by weakening key checks and balances.
Coalition parties said in a joint statement on Monday they plan to finalize the judicial appointments bill within weeks before parliament goes into recess next month.
Other pieces of legislation part of the reform package would wait until the summer session to enable "real dialogue" with the opposition, the statement said.
President Isaac Herzog presented a proposed compromise on Wednesday, but the government immediately rejected it.
Lapid and some other opposition figures have refused to negotiate with the coalition, demanding it completely freeze all legislation related to the judicial reform.
The country has seen 11 consecutive weeks of mass demonstrations against the proposed reforms, which are already moving through parliament and would give...