Thousands of anti-Netanyahu Protesters Gather Outside PM's Residence in Jerusalem

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Israelis protesting outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official residence in Jerusalem, August 21, 2020.
Israelis protesting outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official residence in Jerusalem, August 21, 2020.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Thousands of Israelis demonstrated Friday in front of the prime minister's official residence in Jerusalem, demanding the resignation of Benjamin Netanyahu.

The anti-Netanyahu protests have been drawing hundreds of frustrated citizens to Balfour street every Friday night for about two months.

A protest camp in front of the prime minister's residence was forcibly evacuated by the police Thursday, to allow for the separation between the left-wing demonstrators and Netanyahu supporters who came out for a counter-protest, assuming that thousands of right-wing Israelis would participate, however, only about 300 did.

The police forcefully removed about ten activists from the protest camp who chained themselves to nearby roadblocks, including former Shin Bet chief Carmi Gillon, who was dragged by the police and injured. Additionally, dozens of other protesters were removed, and one was injured and sought medical treatment at a hospital.

Gillon spoke at Friday's demonstration, and called for the establishment of a state commission of inquiry into the submarine affair. "I have a very serious concern that the justice system is doing everything it can to bury this story," he said.

Another anti-Netanyahu demonstration is set to take place Saturday, in which protesters had planned to march from Jerusalem's Chords Bridge to Balfour Street, but the police refused them permission.

Protest organizers predict clashes may erupt with police Saturday, due to the enforcement of noise laws as the High Court determined Thursday. According to the outline presented by the police in a hearing of a petition by residents living near the prime minister's residence against the demonstrations, starting 9:30 P.M. the use of air horns, trumpets and drums will be banned, and from 11 P.M. the use of voice amplifiers will be banned.

In an anti-Netanyahu demonstration which took place Thursday, four people were detained for questioning on suspicion of making noise after permitted hours.

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