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Thousands protest across Israel against Netanyahu amid coronavirus pandemic

Thousands of protesters gathered on Saturday evening in front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s home on the now-famous Balfour Street to express civil unrest at the “detached and failing government.” Other, smaller protests, took place at large junctions across the country including near Netanyahu’s private home in Caesarea.

The protesters are focused on the economic situation, according to the Facebook event by the “Cabinet of Hope”, a group of organizations that collaborate to organize the protests.

“With all the crumbs that the government throws at us, we have no money for bread,” the group wrote. “As they continue to quarrel among themselves, a million people are waiting for security and justice. We do not have time to wait. We have no air to breathe.”

After the previous protests throughout the past week, tensions are high as dozens of protesters are expected to once more be arrested. Throughout the past week, over 100 protesters were arrested at the various demonstrations. Protesting organizations claimed that in the previous events, police would not let the crowds disperse and instead used dispersal means against them.

“Israel Police, we remind you, your job is to protect your citizens, not to fill quotas for detainees and not to issue false messages to the media,” the youth protesting group HaBa’alabatim shared on Facebook ahead of the protest.

Those who have previously been arrested have been forcefully distanced by 100 meters from the event, but nevertheless insist on gathering 101 meters away to nevertheless show their solidarity for the event.

Women’s rights activists joined the protests, as well, because the government “does not see women” and “harms women in times of crisis.” This is after a spike in violence against women with coronavirus closures and lockdowns.

In parallel, the black flags protesters gathered on bridges throughout the country and alongside the Balfour protesters, with some recognizable names among them, such as former defense minister MK Moshe Ya’alon (Yesh Atid-Telem) and former MK Stav Shaffir.

Source: Taamar Beri – JPost