Israeli anti-government protesters demand Netanyahu’s resignation

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Anti-government protesters gathered in Jerusalem on Thursday and converged on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s home, lighting a bonfire on the street outside and calling for his resignation.

“We’ve been abandoned - Elections now!” read one sign that rose above the crowd. Demonstrators yelled through megaphones, waved flags and banged on snare drums while police officers stood at barricades.

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Such demonstrations have grown more frequent as the war against Hamas in Gaza rages on and fighting with Hezbollah in Lebanon threatens to escalate, but they have not reached the fever pitch of a year ago when Netanyahu’s government tried to overhaul Israel’s justice system.

Many in the crowd, which appeared to number in the thousands, also chanted their support for reaching a deal to free some 120 Israeli hostages being held by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in Gaza.

As the sun began to set, protesters blocked traffic and lit a large bonfire on the central Jerusalem street. But there were no reports of major scuffles and police did not use a water cannon to control the crowd, as they have during more rowdy demonstrations.

The protest movement has yet to change the political landscape, and Netanyahu still controls a stable majority in parliament.

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