Israelis protested again outside the residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Anti-government protests have been going on for several weeks now.
Several thousand anti-government demonstrators gathered on Saturday outside the official residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Smaller demonstrations took place in Tel Aviv and near the prime minister’s seaside residence in the central part of the country. Protests against Netanyahu have been going on for several weeks and, as noted by the PA agency, there are no signs of weakening.
The biggest protests since 2011
Throughout the summer, thousands of Israelis take to the streets, urging Netanyahu to step down, protesting his policies to fight the epidemic. They emphasize that the prime minister should not remain in office during the trial on corruption charges. Protesters waved Israeli flags and held banners that read “Minister of Crime.” The current rallies against Netanyahu are the largest protests in Israel since 2011 due to the country’s high living costs.
Netanyahu: They incite violence
Netanyahu tried to quell the riots by calling the demonstrators “leftists” and “anarchists.” On Saturday night, his right-wing Likud released a statement accusing two private Israeli TV stations of “free and endless advertising” for protesters and exaggerating the importance of these rallies. As reported by the PA, although the demonstrations were mostly peaceful, in recent days they have become more and more violent. Several protesters clashed with the police, accusing them of disproportionate use of force, while small gangs of Netanyahu supporters linked to the far-right group assaulted the protesters. Netanyahu says the demonstrators are inciting the violence.
Many protesters, including young unemployed Israelis, accuse Netanyahu of mishandling the crisis related to the epidemic and the resulting economic damage. They believe that after swift action in the spring to contain the virus, Israel loosened restrictions too quickly and reopened the economy, leading to an increase in infections. Israel is currently struggling with record levels of infection, and unemployment has risen to more than 20 percent. Over 70,000 infections have been reported in the country since the outbreak. So far 527 people have died.
Main photo source: EPA / ABIR SULTAN