Israeli demonstrators began the new year where they ended 2020, flooding the streets outside Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s home in Jerusalem, accusing his government of corruption and botched coronavirus response.
Anti-corruption protesters in Israel extended their demonstrations into the new year, marching for a 28th straight week and clashing with police near Netanyahu’s official residence. Eleven protesters were detained by police outside Netanyahu’s home, while about 100 others were relocated to another street further away from his house on Saturday afternoon, Haaretz newspaper reported.
Thousands more people joined the protests in the evening in Jerusalem and other locations around the country, including Netanyahu’s private residence in Caesarea.
Police also arrested two teenagers, 14 and 15, who threw rocks at anti-corruption protesters in Yavne’el. Video footage shows protesters being dragged away by police one-by-one, including one man with a megaphone.
אחד אחד. הרוב נזרקים מאחורי המחסום. יש לפחות עצור אחד pic.twitter.com/eKliTbL7q6
— نير حسون Nir Hasson ניר חסון (@nirhasson) January 2, 2021
Journalist Ben Caspit posted a video of protesters marching to Balfour Street, where Netanyahu’s official residence is located. He said the number of participants has declined, given that it’s winter, but the protest movement is “alive and well.”
צעדת גשר המיתרים לבלפור. עכשיו. זה פחות מהשיא, זה חורף, אבל זה חי וקיים pic.twitter.com/F1fU3XDpju
— Ben Caspit בן כספית (@BenCaspit) January 2, 2021
One of the protest organizers, the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, said it won’t allow the “corrupt” transitional government to ruin democracy or “squash any basic norms” as the country’s March 23 election — its fourth national election in just two years — approach. “We are not going to stop, not even in quarantine,” the group said. “We will not stop until we cleanse corruption from power.”
Netanyahu has also faced growing criticism for his government’s handling of the pandemic. Harsh coronavirus restrictions have dealt a heavy blow to the economy, which is struggling to recover, with the nation being under a third partial lockdown since the start of the outbreak.
(This story has been published from RT News Network feed without modifications to the text)