Thousands protest against new Israeli government

STORY: Protesters took to the streets, waving flags, banging drums, blowing horns and chanting slogans against the new coalition and proposed judicial reforms to reduce powers of the Supreme Court.

“We see a process where the rights of the people will be over time consumed by this theocratic government and we want to avoid that," said Israeli resident Inbar Shani.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the 73-year-old political veteran who is on trial for graft charges he denies, has sought to calm concerns about the fate of civil rights and diplomacy since his bloc of nationalist and religious parties secured a parliamentary majority in a November 1 election.

His allies include the Religious Zionism and Jewish Power parties, which oppose Palestinian statehood and whose leaders - both West Bank settlers - have in the past agitated against Israel's justice system, its Arab minority and LGBT rights.

Netanyahu's appointments include Itamar Ben-Gvir, who was convicted in 2007 of incitement against Arabs and support for a Jewish militant group, as minister for police. Ben-Gvir, a lawyer, says his views have become more moderate.