Hundreds of Israelis marched in protest in Tel Aviv and Haifa on Thursday, calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign.
A wave of anti-Netanyahu protests has swept Israel over the summer, with the largest weekly demonstration taking place every Saturday night near the prime minister's official residence in Jerusalem.
In Tel Aviv, several hundred protesters marched from Rabin Square to the Government Complex in the city. They were told by police their protest was illegal, as they were blocking traffic, and called on them to disperse.
However, they also said they are escorting the march and directing traffic through alternative routes, effectively allowing the demonstration to continue.
The Black Flag Movement said in a statement: “We want to thank the Tel Aviv police for allowing this democratic event to take place, especially on a challenging evening such as this. The Haifa police also handled the third consecutive week of marches in Haifa in an exemplary manner. We expect the Jerusalem police to manage the protest this coming Saturday in the same manner.”
Protesters called on Netanyahu to resign amid criminal charges in three corruption cases, as well as public accusations that he is leading anti-democratic measures and mishandling the coronavirus crisis.
Last Saturday, thirty people were arrested as 10,000 demonstrated in Jerusalem. Simultaneously, a thousand people gathered outside the prime minister's private home in Caesarea and thousands more at some 300 intersections, junctions and bridges across Israel.
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The police response to the protests has varied, but included violent arrests as well as the use of water cannons and mounted forces to disperse crowds.
This week, the State Prosecutor's Office issued new guidelines intended to prevent criminal charges against nonviolent protesters. Netanyahu's Likud party slammed the new policy, arguing that the justice system was working to topple the prime minister.