Anti-Netanyahu Protesters Mark Six Months of Weekly Demonstrations

In addition to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, protesters are gathering outside the hospital where Netanyahu will be getting the coronavirus vaccine

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Anti-Netanyahu protesters in Jerusalem, December 19, 2020.
Anti-Netanyahu protesters in Jerusalem, December 19, 2020. Credit: Emil Salman

Protesters against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are demonstrating in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and at traffic junctions, bridges and intersections nationwide for the 25th week in a row on Saturday, marking six months since the protest movement began. 

In Jerusalem, thousands of demonstrators are protesting in Paris Square, the central site of the demonstrations in the capital, adjacent to the prime minister's official residence on Balfour Street, having marched there from the Chords Bridge.

Protesters are demanding Netanyahu resign amid his criminal trial in three corruption cases and mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis.

The model submarines that have been visible at the weekly protests for months are also at the protest in Jerusalem, under the banner of the "Investigation Now" protest group, which continues to demand that Israel's law enforcement agencies probe the so-called submarine affair and establish a state commission of inquiry.

Dozens of demonstrators are protesting outside the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, where Netanyahu became the first in Israel to receive the vaccine against coronavirus earlier Saturday night.

In Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, dozens are protesting at a demonstration organized by the Movement for Quality Government.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in the city of Ness Tziona for the second time this weekend, after anti-Netanyahu activists were targeted with malicious, threatening graffiti on their homes last week. Opposite them stood several pro-Netanyahu demonstrators holding up signs that read "Traitorous Leftists" and "Enemy Leftists."

Members of the group "Guardians of the Fortress," who define themselves as veteran Likud members and demonstrate against Netanyahu on a weekly basis in Tel Aviv were also present at the demonstration in Ness Ziona. One of them, Danny Betito, said he was tired of the rift, division and corruption and called on Likud party members to change the song, so to speak, saying there is "no other way."

Ahead of Saturday night’s demonstrations, the Black Flag protest movement said: "In the last six months, Israel has undergone two lockdowns and we are on our way to a third only because Netanyahu is busy with his trial, tax benefits for himself and petty politics - this is not going to change."

 People also protested in front of Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz's house in Rosh Ha'ayin. They criticized Gantz's political conduct in the coalition and claimed he is folding in negotiations with Netanyahu over the 2021 state budget. 

This week will determine whether the Knesset will be dissolved and Israelis will head to the polls for the fourth time in two years. If the state budget for 2020 is not approved by Tuesday, the Knesset will automatically dissolve. Negotiations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz's Kahol Lavan aimed at preventing the dissolution of the Knesset are set to continue on Saturday night.

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