Despite strong opposition over judicial reforms spearheaded by the government, Israeli MPs on Monday passed a controversial bill limiting the Supreme Court’s powers. Photo: AFP

The Israeli Knesset (parliament) has approved a controversial bill as part of the government’s judicial overhaul plan.

The Knesset’s TV channel showed passage in the second and third reading of a bill to limit the “reasonableness standard,” which the opposition say would curtail the powers of the Supreme Court.

The contentious judicial overhaul plan, spearheaded by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has sparked 29 weeks of mass protests.

The government says the package is meant to restore power to elected officials, but critics argue it is a power grab by Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption and was released from the hospital earlier in the day after an emergency heart procedure.

The judicial overhaul plan has divided Israel, facing unprecedented opposition from across society, including the military and the business sector.