Israel: Thousands protest Netanyahu’s handling of Gaza war

Mounting anger at Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government has seen protesters take to the streets. Opponents of the government are calling for its resignation.
Published March 30, 2024

Anti-government protests sprung up in both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem on Saturday as the war in Gazaapproaches the six-month mark and more than 100 hostages remain in captivity.

Protesters in Tel Aviv blocked the city’s ring road while demanding early elections as well as calling for the release of hostages by Hamas.

In Jerusalem, hundreds of protesters picketed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s private residence, blaming his far-right government for failing to secure the release of the around 130 hostages believed to still be in Gaza — 33 of whom are presumed dead.

Israeli police said in a post on X it was working to maintain public order as protesters blocked major roads.

Protesters call for progress in negotiations

Police clashed with protesters in Tel Aviv, calling the action illegal and using water cannons to disperse them. Smaller protests were also reported in smaller cities around the country.

Relatives of some of the hostages were also present at the demonstrations.

Israeli media reported that 16 people were arrested.



RELATED: Netanyahu approves new Gaza ceasefire talks

A Palestinian looks on as the search for missing people continues following an Israeli air strike, in Al-Maghazi refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 29 March 2024. According to the Palestinian Civil Defence, a strike hit a residential building in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp, killing more than 10 Palestinians, most of them displaced, while at least 15 others are still buried under the rubble. More than 32,500 Palestinians and over 1,450 Israelis have been killed, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), since Hamas militants launched an attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip on 07 October 2023, and the Israeli operations in Gaza and the West Bank which followed it.  Mohammed Saber, EPA-EFE
Published March 29, 2024

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved a new round of Gaza ceasefire talks to take place in Doha and Cairo, his office said Friday, days after the negotiations appeared stalled.

Since the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Monday demanding an “immediate ceasefire”, Hamas and Israel have traded blame for their failure to agree a deal.

Mediator Qatar said Tuesday that talks between Hamas and Israel on a Gaza truce and hostage release were continuing, but the warring sides and mediators have offered little information since.

Netanyahu’s office said the premier spoke to Mossad chief David Barnea about the talks, but declined elaborate on whether Barnea would be travelling to Doha or Cairo for the negotiations.

The war began when Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel that resulted in about 1,160 deaths, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel’s military has waged a retaliatory offensive against Hamas that has killed 32,623 people in Gaza, most of them women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

Palestinian militants seized about 250 Israeli and foreign hostages during the October 7 attack on Israel, but dozens were released during a week-long truce in November.



RELATED: Gaza truce talks set to resume, as thousands protest Netanyahu in Israel

Negotiations in Cairo on Sunday come after UN Security Council demanded a ceasefire this week, nearly six months into the war.

Palestinians inspect the damage to a building after overnight Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip [File: Said Khatib/AFP]
Published March 30, 2024

Truce talks between Israel and Hamas are expected to resume in Cairo on Sunday, Egyptian media reported, days after the United Nations Security Council issued its first demand for a ceasefire in the war on Gaza.

The resumption of indirect negotiations, reported by Egypt’s Al Qahera News TV on Saturday, comes as more protests against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu erupted in Israel’s capital.

Many Israelis feel that Netanyahu is the main obstacle to signing a deal with Hamas and bringing the captives held in Gaza back home, Al Jazeera’s Hamdah Salhut said.

“These people have been calling for a deal to bring back the captives for more than 175 days. They say that the policies of Israel’s government have simply failed,” Salhut said, reporting from a protest in Tel Aviv where thousands, including families of the captives, had gathered.

Demonstrations also took place near Netanyahu’s residence and in other cities across Israel.




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