3 Arrested in J’slm as Anti-Netanyahu Demonstrations Continue for 7th Week

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Thousands of demonstrators rallied around the prime minister’s official residence in the center of the city while blocking main routes. Photo by Margaliot Lazar/TPS on 8 August, 2020

By: Aryeh Savir

Jerusalem’s police on Saturday night arrested 3 rioters who participated in protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in another night of unrest in the capital, the seventh consecutive weekend the protests have taken place.

Thousands of demonstrators rallied around the prime minister’s official residence in the center of the city while blocking main routes.

The demonstrators had a mixture of messages, including charges that Netanyahu was harming Israel’s democracy, that he was on trial for criminal charges and therefore should step down, that he had failed in his leadership during the Coronavirus crisis, and that he should cease with his plan to declare sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.

The protest lasted for several hours and after a large part of the protesters left the demonstration, dozens remained and began to disrupt the order while ignoring the repeated calls by the police to disperse independently.

Police forces dispersed the rioters, cleared the intersection and opened it to traffic.

Demonstrators also rallied near Netanyahu’s home in Caesarea and at several intersections throughout the country.

On Sunday morning, the police forcefully evacuated protesters who established a camp in a park Gan Haatzmaut, near Netanyahu’s residence. One person was arrested for disturbing the peace.

In another location in Tel Aviv, right-wing demonstrators held a rally near the home of Supreme Court President Esther Hayut.

More than two hundred activists gathered on Saturday night for a second consecutive week in the Tzahala neighborhood of Tel-Aviv to protest outside Hayut’s house, accusing the High Court of being a politicized actor that acts in disregard of the wishes of the country’s elected officials.

The activists began the noisy protest at 11:00 PM and came equipped with drums, bullhorns, and other noise-making equipment.

“If Rehavia won’t be sleeping tonight, neither will Tzahala,” chanted the protestors in reference to the anti-Netanyahu protests that have been taking place in the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem.

The High Court of Justice has faced wide criticism in recent years over its activist policies, which its opponents label as an abuse of power and “judicial piracy.”

Saturday night’s protests were the latest in several such events that took place in recent weeks in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and the demonstrations’ organizers have vowed to continue with their campaign to unseat Netanyahu.

   (TPS)