Gantz: Rising Violence Against anti-Netanyahu Protesters Could Lead to Murder

Benny Gantz calls on public security minister to bolster police forces at the mass protests slated for Saturday evening

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz on a working visit about COVID-19 to the mission headquarters at the Home Front Command, September 7, 2020.
Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz on a working visit about COVID-19 to the mission headquarters at the Home Front Command, September 7, 2020.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned Friday that the violence directed toward anti-Netanyahu protesters could lead to murder.

In recent months, mass rallies protesting Netanyahu's rule have been held across Israel. Dozens of acts of violence against demonstrators have been recorded and reported. However, a Haaretz investigation found that out of these dozens cases, only one suspect was charged with attacking a protester with a sharp object.

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Gantz called on Public Security Minister Amir Ohana of Likud and acting police commissioner Motti Cohen to bolster police forces at the demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slated for Saturday evening.

The defense minister told Ohana and Cohen that "the violence toward protesters is evident and there's a genuine fear for human life." Gantz demanded that the police focused in preventing incidence of violence, while enforcing the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Gantz's office said that he condemns any kind of violence against police officers and violation of the restrictions.    

Many demonstrators told Haaretz that police presence at the protests is insufficient, and said they are not quick to present sufficient evidence to file an indictment against the alleged perpetrators. On the other hand, the protesters say, the police are strictly enforcing coronavirus restrictions and monitor prominent protest leaders

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