Thousands protest in Jerusalem against Israel’s PM: Posters say ‘Netanyahu, resign’

Published: Updated:

Thousands of Israelis protested Tuesday in front of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, demanding his resignation as the government comes under fire over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Some placards carried by demonstrators read “Netanyahu’s corruption makes us sick” and “Netanyahu, resign.”

One protest organizer, reserve General Amir Haskel, urged the crowd gathered on July 14, the “231st anniversary of the French revolution” to “demand liberty, equality and fraternity.”

For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.

Police were out in force for the demonstration.

Many protesters wore masks but did not maintain social distancing.

“The most deadly virus is not COVID-19, but corruption,” protester Laurent Cige, who came from Tel Aviv to take part, told AFP.

Netanyahu was indicted in January for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three cases.

Netanyahu, who in May forged a new unity government after more than a year of political turmoil, insists the charges were trumped up to drive him from office.

The next trial date at Jerusalem district court is set for July 19.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Under Israeli law, a sitting prime minister is only required to resign if convicted of a criminal offence with all appeals exhausted, which in Netanyahu’s case could take several years.

Protesters criticized Israel’s handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, as the health ministry announced more than 1,400 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours.

Israelis protest against Netanyahu outside his official residence in Jerusalem, July 14, 2020. (AFP)
Israelis protest against Netanyahu outside his official residence in Jerusalem, July 14, 2020. (AFP)

Israel had won praise for its early response to the outbreak, but the government has come under criticism amid a resurgence in cases after lockdown measures were lifted.

Thousands also protested in Tel Aviv on Saturday to voice frustration at Netanyahu and his economic policies.

Read more:

Israel’s Netanyahu lawyer quits over fees days before corruption trial

Palestinian Hamas official defects from Gaza to Israel: Reports

Israel, a country of some nine million people, has recorded more than 41,200 coronavirus cases, including 368 deaths.

The government lifted some restrictions at the end of May, but announced new ones last week, including closing bars, nightclubs and gyms.

Israel’s unemployment has jumped from 3.4 percent in February to 27 percent in April, before falling slightly in May to 23.5 percent.

Top Content Trending