Protests against the Israeli government’s judicial reform plan turned violent in Tel Aviv and Haifa Wednesday afternoon, with clashes breaking out between demonstrators and police on Ayalon Highway.

Hundreds of demonstrators broke through police barricades onto the highway, sending officers into retreat.

Police threw stun grenades at the protesters an deployed mounted officers in an attempt to disperse the crowd and reopen the Ayalon Highway.

Thus far, nine demonstrators have been arrested at the Ayalon protest, with at least seven more arrested at similar protests across the country. A Haifa man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer during a local protest.

During a meeting with top police officials, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir (Otzma Yehudit) called for "zero tolerance towards anarchists."

"We must show zero tolerance towards anarchists who attack police officers, break through police barricades and spread anarchy."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his "full backing" to Ben-Gvir, tweeting: "We will not accept violence against police officers, the blocking of roads, and the rampant violation of our laws. The right to protest does not mean there is a right to anarchy."

"I give my full backing to National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, to the police superintendent, and to the officers of the Israel Police, who are working against law-breakers who are disrupting life for Israeli citizens."

Anti-judicial reform activists declared Wednesday a "Day of National Disruptions," with protesters shutting down traffic into Jerusalem on Route 1 Wednesday morning.

In Tel Aviv, protesters disrupted train service, barring passengers from boarding or exiting trains at HaHaganah Station.

Smaller protests are being held across the country, with the day's events set to culminate in mass rallies in Tel Aviv and outside of the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem.

The protests were launched to coincide with scheduled votes by the Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on two key bills in the judicial reform package.

The bills would, if passed, raise the bar for judicial review of Knesset laws, requiring the full Supreme Court bench to weigh in to disqualify a law, and mandating that at least 80% of the justices must back the nullification of the law.

The second bill would allow the Knesset to override Supreme Court rulings striking down Knesset laws as unconstitutional.