Thousands of Israelis Protest in Front of Netanyahu's Residence in Jerusalem

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Anti-Netanyahu protesters holding a large coronavirus-shaped balloon, in Jerusalem tonight.
Anti-Netanyahu protesters holding a large coronavirus-shaped balloon, in Jerusalem tonight.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Thousands of Israelis showed up to protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in front of his official residence in Jerusalem on Saturday evening, for the 33rd week in a row.

Before gathering at the Balfour Street destination, several groups marched through the city streets. Hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians assembled in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan to protest against systematic evictions of Palestinian residents from the neighborhood.

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The joint Israeli-Palestinian protest was an unusual event, since Palestinians who live in East Jerusalem do not protest in the western part of the city, particularly for political issues. Additionally, it was the first protest in years against activities carried out by right wing organizations in Silwan where both Palestinians and Israelis protested together. 

Palestinians cross the Green Line, coming from East J'lem to join protests in Balfour St.

Clashes broke out between officers and protesters, after the police blocked one of the exits from Paris Square, the site of the protests. One protester, Asaf Agmon, sustained a head injury and was evacuated from the scene.

Waving placards and banners branded with the logo of the Peace Now organization, and waving pink flags, one of the symbols of the greater protest movement, they then marched towards Balfour, joining the rest of the protesters.

According to Peace Now, this is the first time that Palestinians from East Jerusalem have engaged with the Balfour Street protest movement. The message they were trying to convey was that "the pro-democracy struggle against corruption and the struggle against the occupation are interconnected," a spokesperson for the organization said. 

Prior to the demonstration, police had blocked the streets near the prime minister's residence.

In Caesarea, on the 33rd week of demonstrations against Netanyahu

At the same time, hundreds of people marched in Caesarea, where the Likud leader has his private residence. The demonstration ended around 9 P.M.

Earlier in the day, demonstrations took place at bridges and intersections throughout the country. "All over... there are people who keep the embers of democracy burning," Shikma Schwartzman of the Black Flags Movement said: "Our job from now until the election is to press with all our might so that all the people go out to vote."

The protest movement has coalesced around one idea - to force Benjamin Netanyahu to step down. It is home to a very diverse crowd, with different parts of the body of demonstrators sometimes holding opposite views regarding things as crucial to Israeli lives as the conflict with the Palestinians. 

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