Protesters Demanding Netanyahu's Resignation Plan to Camp Outside Official Residence

Rally calling for prime minister to resign over his corruption charges comes two days after around 50 arrested in similar protest

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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Protesters near the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem on July 16, 2020.
Protesters near the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem on July 16, 2020.Credit: Emil Salman
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

Hundreds of protesters calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign over his corruption charges gathered outside his official residence on Thursday, two days after some 50 people were arrested in a similar protest.

LISTEN: Protests, pandemics and Netanyahu's day of reckoningCredit: Haaretz

Protesters received a permit to demontrate until 11 P.M., with police saying they would disperse them if the demonstration continued beyond that. Protest organizers have said they plan to urge protesters to remain and sleep on the sidewalks.

Rami Matan, an activist who was an organizer of the protest and who signed the protest license for police, told Haaretz that as far as he was concerned, the protest would end at 11 P.M. "Anyone who wants to stay to sleep sleeps on the sidewalk," he said "I am worried to a degree that the young people won't listen to the instructions to disperse ... We demand that [Netanyahu] stop improvising being a prime minister and for him to focus on handling his criminal trial."

Netanyahu stands accused of criminal activity in three separate corruption cases.

On Tuesday, a protest outside the official residence drew thousands calling for the prime minister's resignation. Protesters blocked nearby streets for hours, despite police attempts to clear the area. Clashes broke out near a roadblock erected on Balfour Street, where Netanyahu's residence is located, as police kept protesters from nearing Netanyahu's home.

Following the demonstration, thousands began marching toward the city center, while police chased after them. Hundreds blocked roads and light train tracks on Jaffa Street and the surrounding area. Intense clashes broke out between police and protesters.

Following the demonstration, thousands began marching toward the city center, with police in pursuit. Hundreds blocked roads and light train tracks on Jaffa Street and the surrounding area. Protesters used chairs, tables and large umbrellas from nearby cafes to block the roads. Police used water cannons and mounted officers to disperse the crowd.

Netanyahu has been drawing criticism not only for his alleged misconduct in the three corruption cases against him, but also for his attacks on the attorney general, the media, law enforcement and the judiciary in his arguments that the charges against him are baseless.

On Monday, police and Jerusalem city inspectors cleared out a protest encampment across the street from the Prime Minister's Residence for the second day in a row. Law enforcement confiscated equipment and clashed with protesters, two of whom were hurt and taken to the hospital.

That came after a Saturday protest by some 10,000 people in Tel Aviv against the government’s handling of the country’s economic crisis, which resulted in 20 protesters being arrested. Also Saturday, protesters demanding Netanyahu’s resignation gathered at traffic junctions around the country, with 10 protesters being arrested.

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