image Photo: Flash90

Anti-Netanyahu protests enter 18th week

Thousands of Israelis protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Saturday (October 24) for the 18th consecutive week. Hundreds of major demonstrations were held in the largest cities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa and outside the Premier’s private home in Caesarea,  as well as at intersections and overpasses throughout the country.

According to the Black Flag protest movement, which TV7 was unable to verify, 170,000 people participated in the demonstrations nationwide.

The protestors are demanding Netanyahu resign over a series of allegations, including his indictment on corruption charges, as well as his government’s mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic and dire subsequent economic crisis. The country is in a recession as a result of the pandemic and the unemployment rate is hovering above 11%.

An estimated 2,000 people rallied outside the Prime Minister’s residence in the capital, as several hundred others marched through the city’s streets. According to a police statement, 7 were arrested for allegedly assaulting law enforcement officers and disrupting public order.

“We are protesting against our corrupt Prime Minister. We would like him to leave office immediately. He is driven by his criminal considerations, he is charged with very sever charges and he should take care of his criminal acts. He should deal with lawyers not while he is sitting in his office,” protester Moshe Cohen told Reuters, further charging that all of Netanyahu’s “actions are driven by his criminal considerations” and that “he doesn’t do anything good for the country any more.”

There have also been multiple reports of violent confrontations and attacks on anti-Netanyahu protesters. In Tel Aviv, four suspects were detained for having threatened demonstrators with electric tasers at the central Rabin Square and a food delivery courier was arrested for allegedly trying to run over crowds with his electric bicycle on Ibn Givirol Street.  Several reported that they were targeted by eggs and their posters were ripped up at a junction between Tel Aviv and Ramat Hasharon, a demonstrator in Ramat Gan said he was assaulted by a passerby, and others in Haifa were reportedly beaten with a flag pole by occupants of a passing vehicle.