Tens of thousands of Israelis marched across the country Saturday for the eleventh week in a row, protesting against a controversial bill on the justice system backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel's privately owned Channel 13 said nearly 175,<> Israelis demonstrated in central Tel Aviv, while tens of thousands more demonstrated in other areas, including Jerusalem, Haifa and Beersheba.

The Israel Broadcasting Corporation reported that police arrested at least six protesters in the capital, allegedly trying to block a main street.

In Tel Aviv's Dizengoff Square, thousands of demonstrators waved Israeli flags as crowds marched through car traffic in the city centre, chanting slogans including "Save democracy."

Nima Mazur, a 64-year-old pensioner from the city of Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv, said: "I am worried, not for myself, but for my daughters and grandchildren. We want Israel to remain democratic and liberal, Jewish of course, but liberal, we are very worried about it becoming a dictatorship."

"We are here to protest to the end, and we hope it ends well."

Sagiv Galan, 46, said the government was "trying to destroy civil rights, women's rights and the rights of other groups".

According to local media, protests were held in more than 100 cities and towns, including Haifa (north), Jerusalem and Beersheba (south).

This is the eleventh consecutive week of demonstrations against the bill, which was announced in early January, and includes allowing parliament to overturn Supreme Court decisions by a simple majority.

The project also aims to increase the power of elected officials over the judiciary. Critics say it threatens "the democratic character of Israel" and could help overturn a possible conviction for Netanyahu, who is being prosecuted on corruption charges in several cases.

Netanyahu, on the other hand, and his allies see the project as necessary to restore the balance of power between elected officials and the Supreme Court, which they see as politicized.

The Knesset has so far adopted several provisions of the bill on first reading.