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Crowd at anti-Netanyahu protest in Jerusalem continues to swell

Protesters continue streaming in to join the thousands already demonstrating against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Demonstrators are carrying signs saying “let my people go” and “enough with the detached government!” Others wave Israeli flags, beat drums and blow horns.

“We have a prime minister who’s interested in advancing his personal affairs and can’t lead the country,” says Amy Katz, a Jerusalem resident.

“If Bibi doesn’t go, one day we won’t be a democracy,” she adds.

Protesters from all over the country fill Paris Square outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem this evening to call for his resignation.

“They stole from the poor to give to the rich, what a corrupt government!” protesters chant, as the crowd’s noise rises to a deafening roar.

Gidi Carmon, 23, came from Modiin to attend the anti-Netanyahu protests for the first time. A student at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, he lost a part-time job at the beginning of the pandemic which he used to make ends meet.

“The people at the top are dealing with crazy things instead of the economy and with people’s health, like tax breaks for Netanyahu. It’s time for him to resign,” Carmon, who identifies himself as center-left, tells The Times of Israel.

“Take annexation — it’s not even about right or wrong, it’s about timing. How did they spend so much time on that in the middle of this crisis?” Carmon asks rhetorically, referring to Israel’s declared intent to annex parts of the West Bank.

Joint List MKs Ayman Odeh and Ofer Cassif join the demonstration in front of the Prime Minister’s Residence.

“Corona is less dangerous than the tyranny of Bibi-ism,” Cassif says in a statement.

Attendance at a protest against Prime Minister Netanyahu outside his official residence has grown to over 5,000 people, according to Hebrew media estimates.

Besides groups calling for Netanyahu’s resignation due to his indictment on corruption charges, self-employed Israelis who have been hurt economically by the coronavirus pandemic are also taking part in the demonstration.

“We came here to say in a clear voice that this isn’t a political protest. This is a real and authentic economic protest of the entire Israeli nation. This isn’t right or left. There are people there who’ve lost their livelihoods,” protest organizer Yossi Tzarfati tells the Kan public broadcaster.

Hundreds of people are also protesting at Tel Aviv’s Charles Clore Park.

Prime Minister Netanyahu lashes out at Israel’s leading news broadcaster for covering growing demonstrations against him, accusing it of working “to fuel” the protests against him.

“Channel 12 has turned into an unashamed propaganda arm of the anarchist left to topple the right-wing government and its leader,” he says in a statement, apparently referring to the “national emergency unity government” he formed with the centrist Blue and White party.

“Every evening they open their propaganda broadcasts with ‘dramatic’ live reports about inflated numbers of protesters and portray this as if there are tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands,” he continues, without giving evidence.

“[Channel] 12 news is making a Herculean effort to fuel the political protests that are organized and funded by left-wing organizations. Fake news on steroids.”

He claims almost all of the network’s programming “has been mobilized for unrestrained Bolshevik propaganda against the prime minister” and accuses the channel of ignoring what he has said are growing threats against him and his family.

Header: Israelis protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his official residence in Jerusalem on July 25, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Source: TOI and AGENCIES