Thousands Protest Across Israel Calling on Netanyahu to Resign

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'Blag Flag' protesters on a bridge above a major highway in Tel Aviv, July 4, 2020.
'Blag Flag' protesters on a bridge above a major highway in Tel Aviv, July 4, 2020. Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Thousands of protesters demonstrated Saturday at dozens of junctions and highways across the country demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is being tried for alleged corruption and has been accused by critics of subverting democracy by attacking the justice system, law enforcement and the media. 

The protest was another held by the so-called Black Flag movement against the backdrop of a spike in coronavirus cases and protests over the government's response to the outbreak's economic fallout, as well as over plans to annex parts of the West Bank. 

"Last week, we were exposed to the tremendous damages that result from having an indicted criminal sitting in the prime minister's chair," said protest organizers, who added that they were "against the government that Netanyahu is trying to rule over to evade trial."

One of the demonstrators said they were attending the protests for the second Saturday in a row "because I feel that we are citizens of the state, we have no other country and we citizens must take the initiative and influence the public agenda."

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Police arrested two Or Akiva residents, both in their twenties, after they threw eggs at protesters gathered at the Binyamina junction from a moving car. Police said they had brought the two suspects into the police station for investigation and will decide whether to pursue the matter further.

"Black flags" protests on a bridge above a major highway, July 4, 2020. Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Protests have increased across the country in recent weeks. Saturday's protest follows last week's, when several dozen pro-democracy demonstrators gathered in a protest area set up by activists on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv.

Another several dozen protesters gathered at Azrieli Junction in Tel Aviv, in a demonstration organized by the Standing Together organization, demanding economic security.

Two weeks ago, about 1,500 protesters gathered in Jerusalem to demand the release of detained activists who were arrested because as leaders of a protest, they were deemed responsible for protesters blocking a road at an anti-Netanyahu rally.

Three of the protesters, including protest leader and retired Air Force Brigadier General Amir Haskel, have since been unconditionally released by the Jerusalem District Court following comments condeming their detention.

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