Thousands gathered outside Benjamin Netanyahu’s home in Jerusalem on Saturday, demanding the Israeli PM resign. Police moved in to disperse the crowd in one of the largest protests in weeks.
The Israeli media put the turnout at around 10,000, with this rally against Netanyahu transitioning into a sit-in and continuing until after midnight.
The Israeli PM’s official residence in central Jerusalem has been turned into the site of frequent anti-government demonstrations. And the gatherings show no sign of dying down.
The demonstration was sanctioned by the authorities and saw a huge police presence involving mounted officers and water cannons.
The activists said they were protesting because “the Israeli government has failed in leading the Corona crisis. And the Prime Minister is charged with severe accusations in corruption, and above all, the Israeli democracy is under danger.”
Netanyahu, the Israeli PM since 2009, has “failed. And in every normal country, whoever fails – goes home. And gives a chance to somebody else,” one of the protestors said.
People refused to leave the square, and police were eventually sent in to force them to disperse, but it was no easy task as the participants of the sit-in held on tight to each other. The officers eventually managed to extract several people from it, making 12 arrests.
Hundreds also protested outside Netanyahu’s private residence in Caesarea, which was also heavily guarded by security forces.
While the demonstrations were largely peaceful, in recent protests there were clashes with police, as well as brawls between left-wing protesters and various right-wing groups.
A strict lockdown has caused unemployment to surge in Israel, while the abrupt lifting of safety measures in May led to a spike in coronavirus cases in the country. Netanyahu was indicted last November for allegedly taking gifts from billionaires in return for political favors, and for making deals with media owners for less critical coverage. He denies the charges.
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