Israelis Resume anti-Netanyahu Protests After PM Tasked With Forming Government

Demonstrators return to Jerusalem for the first time since last month's election after Netanyahu was tasked with forming the next government

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Protesters outside President Reuven Rivlin's official residence, today.
Protesters outside President Reuven Rivlin's official residence, today.Credit: Ben Cohen/Megafon News

Protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resumed on Saturday for the first time since last month's election after he was tasked with forming a government.

Demonstrators returned to Paris Square outside the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem and traffic junctions around the country, three weeks after the last protest before the election – which was the 39th consecutive week of protests against the prime minister, who is on trial for corruption, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases. 

Several hundred protesters also marched to President Reuven Rivlin's official residence and demonstrated at the gate.

Following the final pre-election protest, activists disbanded the protest encampment that was set up last year across from Netanyahu's official residence. Activist Amir Haskel, a leading figure in the protests, told Haaretz at the time that the encampment would be reestablished if Netanyahu formed the next government.

Anti-Netanyahu protesters in Jerusalem, last month.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

On Friday, police detained some 15 protesters near the home of Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit who demanded that he declare Netanyahu incapacitated and unable to lead the country while he is on trial.

While protesters remained dozens of meters away from Mendelblit's residence and demonstrated quietly, police arriving at the scene told them they were violating the conditions for protesting in the neighborhood. Protesters who refused to leave were detained. 

On Tuesday, Rivlin picked Netanyahu as the candidatge given the first chance to try and form a new government after an unprecedented fourth election in under two years.

Rivlin said no candidate has a real chance of forming new government, but decided to task Netanyahu, as he had received the most endorsements.

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