Tens of thousands of Israelis rally against PM Netanyahu in Jerusalem

People light fires during a protest against the Israeli government, demanding the release of captives held by the Hamas in Gaza. [Ahmad Gharabli/AFP]
Published April 1,  2024

Israelis thronged central Jerusalem in the largest protest since Israel’s war on Gaza broke out in October.

Tens of thousands of Israelis have marched in Jerusalem, calling for increased efforts to free captives held in Gaza and the removal of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Demonstrators on Sunday evening blocked a main city highway, after earlier rallying in front of the Israeli parliament, lighting fires and waving the national flag. They claim that the protest was the biggest since the war in Gaza broke out in October.

Police used water cannon against the crowd, and jostled and pushed protesters back as they shouted that Netanyahu “must go”.

Pressure has been growing on the prime minister as opponents of his right-wing government have found common cause with the families of the hundred or more captives still held by the Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza.

The families have pledged to take to the streets every night this week as they call for the government to “bring them home”.

Many protesters carried placards of Netanyahu’s face covered in blood, accusing him of failing to protect the country from Hamas.


SOURCE: www.aljazeera.com

RELATED: Israel: Benjamin Netanyahu protests put political divides back on show

Published March 30,  2024

Israel’s deep political divisions are back on public display.

They were put to one side for a while, as shock and national unity followed the 7 October attacks by Hamas – but six months later, thousands of protesters are once again on Israel’s streets.

The war has turbocharged their determination to unseat Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In Jerusalem, police used skunk water – a foul-smelling substance fired from water cannon – to clear protesters who had blocked the Begin Boulevard, the city’s major north-south highway.

Well-worn slogans demanding his resignation and early elections were amplified by newer ones calling for an immediate deal to free about 130 Israeli hostages still held in Gaza. An unknown number of them are presumed dead.

The big fear of their families and friends, as well as the protesters, is that many more will die the longer the war drags on without a deal.

On Sunday evening, as thousands packed the broad avenues around the Israeli parliament, Katia Amorza – who has a son serving in the Israeli army in Gaza – put down her megaphone for a moment.

“Since eight this morning, I’m here. And now I’m telling Netanyahu that I would be glad to pay one way ticket, first class, for him to go out and not come back anymore.


SOURCE: www.bbc.com

RELATED: Israelis stage largest protest since war began to increase pressure on Netanyahu

Published April 1, 2024

JERUSALEM (AP) — Tens of thousands of Israelis thronged central Jerusalem on Sunday in the largest anti-government protest since the country went to war in October. Protesters urged the government to reach a cease-fire deal to free dozens of hostages held in Gaza by Hamas militants and to hold early elections.

Israeli society was broadly united immediately after Oct. 7, when Hamas killed some 1,200 people during a cross-border attack and took 250 others hostage.

Nearly six months of conflict have renewed divisions over the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, though the country remains largely in favor of the war.

Netanyahu has vowed to destroy Hamas and bring all the hostages home, yet those goals have been elusive. While Hamas has suffered heavy losses, it remains intact.

Roughly half the hostages in Gaza were released during a weeklong cease-fire in November. But attempts by international mediators to bring home the remaining hostages have failed. Talks resumed on Sunday with no signs that a breakthrough was imminent.


SOURCE: www.apnews.com


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