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Israel police arrest three as “hundreds” protest in front of Netanyahu’s residence

“Around 200” Israelis are protesting Saturday outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem.

The protests began earlier than previous weeks in order to arrive before police closed the area off.

Over the last month, police have banned protests that stray from the nearby Paris Square by cordoning off the prime minister’s residence, even to pedestrians.

So far, Israel Police have arrested three protesters as demonstrators clashed with the officers. Videos show police officers forcefully removing protesters from the scene.

Meanwhile, several other demonstrators, who arrived with torches, started a small bonfire near the main entry to the residence. It has been since put out by firefighters and relighted by the protesters two more times.

Demonstrators protested in front of a black curtain that hangs at the front of Netanyahu’s official residence, which protesters called to ‘bring down the curtain.’

The intention of these latest protests is to surround all the entrances of the premier’s residence in an act they have nicknamed the “Balfour siege.”

A statement from the anti-Netanyahu Crime Minister organization says: “Despite the police preparation, protesters have successfully reached the closest point to the prime minister’s residence, by the black curtain, a sign of being out of touch, of corruption, and trying to conceal his fear, the same characteristics that have come to define the defendant’s rule from Balfour Street… the lockdown or calling elections will not stop us.”

Saturday’s protest marks the 27th week of the anti-Netanyahu protests. Hundreds are expected to march from Jerusalem’s String Bridge at 6:30 P.M., ending in the main protest at Paris Square.

Protests are expected to take place on bridges and junctions across the country, as well as at Netanyahu’s private residence in Caesarea, and in Tel Aviv.

Around “200 anti-Netanyahu protesters” gathered at the Kenyoter junction in Nes Tziona, in front of a pro-Netanyahu counter protest, where demosntrators held signs that read “leftist traitors” and “the leftist enemy”, while shouting the names of the leaders of several anti-Netanyahu movements.

In Giv’at Ada, a town near Haifa, witnesses are reporting attacks on anti-Netanyahu protesters by Netanyahu supporters. In a video of the incident, two people are attacking the anti-Netanyahu protesters, who are trying to get away. Israel Police arrived to the scene and are investigating the situation.

Source: Nir Hasson and Noa Shpigel – HAARETZ

Three of the protesters were arrested near Paris Square after confronting police.

Following the protest, police blocked traffic at the intersection of Matudela-Gaza streets, in the direction of Paris Square. Another demonstration is also expected tonight near the Netanyahu family home in Caesarea.

Yesterday morning, Roi Peleg, one of the leaders of the protest against Netanyahu, was detained for questioning on suspicion of disrupting traffic at the end of a procession in Caesarea. Police later said he was suspected of “disturbing public order”.

The “Investigation Now” movement, led by the 35-year-old Peleg, condemned his arrest: “The Israel Police should investigate the submarine and vessel affair. These false arrests will not frighten us from continuing to demand a commission of inquiry that clarifies: Does the Prime Minister mix between benefits for himself and his associates and Israel’s security?”

Source: Arutz Sheva