Angry protests have continued in Israel despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to temporarily freeze his controversial plan to curtail the powers of the Supreme Court.

Protest leaders have announced that they will continue their activism against the judicial amendments until they are completely rescinded.

Earlier on Monday, Netanyahu said in a televised address: "I have decided to suspend the Knesset vote on legislation to reform the judiciary, to reach a broad agreement out of national responsibility and the desire to prevent the division of the nation."

But thousands of protesters continued to pour into the streets in Tel Aviv and other cities, stressing the need to repeal all legislation contained in the controversial plan, and not just temporarily freeze it.

Major disorder

Clashes broke out between police and protesters, who tried to reach and block Tel Aviv's Ayalon Street, according to the Hebrew daily Haaretz. Police used means to disperse demonstrators such as cavalry, sewage vehicles and stun grenades to prevent protesters from reaching the main street.

Two Israeli policemen were injured after demonstrators threw bottles at them in Tel Aviv.

According to the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth, police arrested a total of 33 protesters during last night's Tel Aviv protests.

Channel 12 quoted a protester named Noam as saying, "There is chaos, the police are using wastewater in all directions, and the cavalry are entering among the crowds." "There was a lot of turbulence, people ran on top of each other to avoid the horses."

In turn, Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid declared his readiness for dialogue according to a specific direction, and to seek "the realization of a constitution for Israel on the basis of the Declaration of Independence," as he put it. Lapid warned that if Netanyahu "tries to deceive" he will once again find himself in front of hundreds of thousands of protesters.

Bitter divisions

For his part, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevy called on soldiers to continue to do their duty and act responsibly in the face of bitter social divisions.

Halevy said – in remarks published by the military media office – that this period is different from any period that Israel has witnessed before. He added that Israel had not seen such days "full of external threats at a time when a storm is forming at home," according to the statement.

For his part, the head of the Knesset Security Committee demanded the reinstatement of the defense minister after Netanyahu sacked him in response to his demand to reverse the plan to reform the judiciary, and the head of the Knesset Security Committee considered that "this is not the time for changes in the Defense Ministry."

On the other hand, the United States welcomed Netanyahu's announcement to suspend legislation on judicial amendments.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said delaying the amendments would provide an opportunity for a settlement to pull Israel out of the crisis. She said allegations of Washington's funding of the protests were "false and baseless."

For the past 12 weeks, tens of thousands of Israelis have been demonstrating against the justice reform plan backed by the Netanyahu government, which includes amendments limiting the powers of the Supreme Court (the highest judicial authority) and giving the government the power to appoint judges.