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Thousands attend several anti-government protests in Jerusalem

Update:

Anti-government protesters march from Netanyahu’s residence to Knesset

Police block roads near the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, as protesters against the premier’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and its economic fallout gather for another rally.

Police deploy extra forces as thousands attend several parallel demonstrations.

Supporters of Netanyahu are also demonstrating, and police are separating the two groups and getting them away from the entrance to the official residence.

Police are deployed with increased force in the area, since many thousands are expected to attend.

Police have given approval for anti-government protesters to march from the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem to the Knesset, and demonstrators are currently heading to the parliament building.

Hebrew-language media reports that some 2,000 people have attended the rally, which was organized by some 30 groups and protests various aspects of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout.

Previous rallies have ended in violent clashes and mutual accusations between protesters and police.

The anti-government protests near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence is actually comprised of several different rallies organized by more than 30 groups.

The rallies are by restaurant owners angry at repeated closures forced upon them in recent months; by self-employed Israelis who say government support has been insufficient, and by the so-called “black flag” anti-corruption protest against the premier, who is on trial for graft.

Additionally, demonstrators are railing against proposed legislation that would make government measures take effect without Knesset approval, saying it would remove vital oversight.

Hundreds are already demonstrating and police estimate thousands will show up.

Police have refused a request for masses to march later in the evening to the Knesset, but Channel 12 reports that an approval could be given.

Some 150 restaurant owners also demonstrate in Haifa’s German Colony neighborhood against coronavirus closures forced upon them in recent months.

The restaurateurs, Jewish and Arab and from various areas of northern Israel, block roads and call for compensation and for the government to “resign.”

Header: Israeli police officers stand guard during a protest outside the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem on July 17, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)