Update(1346ET): In a much anticipated 8pm (local) speech, at a moment hundreds of thousands of protesters are in the streets, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed in a televised speech that he will pause his ultra-controversial judicial overhaul plans which many say would destroy Israeli democracy and court independence.
He emphasized that he is aware of the deepening divide and tensions in society as a result of the legislation, but called the anger in the streets the product of an "extremist minority" that is "tearing Israel apart." The crisis not only resulted in massive national strikes on Monday, but escalated to the point of growing numbers of refusals of recruits and soldiers to serve in the Israeli Defense Force's reserve units, putting the country's security in peril. According to Netanyahu's words as reported in the Times of Israel:
The premier says he has repeatedly called for dialogue on the overhaul plan and says there "must not be a civil war," saying there is a severe crisis in Israeli society.
"When there's an option to avoid civil war through dialogue, I take a time-out for dialogue," he says, adding that "out of national responsibility," he is delaying the final readings of a divisive judicial appointments bill — under which the coalition would take almost complete of their appointment of all Israel's judges — until the next Knesset session a month from now.