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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Widespread Protests In Israel Demanding  Dismissal Of Netanyahu’s Govt

Report from Tel-Aviv, Israel says, thousands of Israelis took to the streets on Saturday, demanding a hostage swap deal with Palestinian resistance groups and calling for the dismissal of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government alongside demands for early elections.

The protests unfolded in major cities, including Tel Aviv and Haifa, as well as near Netanyahu’s residence in Caesarea, according to multiple media reports.

In Tel Aviv, demonstrators congregated at Kaplan Square, “Hostages Square,” and outside the Ministry of Defense, raising banners stating “The country is burning” and “The government abandoned the fighters and hostages.” Israeli army radio and the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported disruptions, including traffic blockades as part of the protests.

The demonstrations have been fueled by the ongoing crisis involving Israelis held hostage by Hamas, with protesters holding the government responsible for their well-being.

The call for Netanyahu’s resignation was echoed loudly, especially in areas close to his official residence.

The Israeli police have reportedly arrested two individuals in Kaplan Square on charges of rioting and disorderly conduct, and officials have dispersed protesters accused of engaging in illegal activities after setting fires near a shopping complex in central Tel Aviv.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid participated in the protests, advocating for an immediate resolution to the hostage situation.

“This evening, with the families of the detainees in Hostages Square and in Begin Street, there is one decision the government must make tomorrow – to finalize the exchange deal,” Lapid stated on X.

The protests are part of a broader unrest expected to intensify and spread across Israel, with a significant focus on Tel Aviv, where central protests have been a weekly occurrence.

Internationally mediated negotiations involving Qatar, Egypt, and the US have been ongoing, though they have so far failed to yield a conclusive hostage swap agreement.

The conflict, which began on October 7, has seen severe casualties and extensive destruction, particularly in Gaza.

The International Court of Justice has recently ordered Israel to halt its offensive in Rafah and ensure humanitarian aid reaches Gaza, amidst accusations of genocide and ongoing legal proceedings at the UN court. — Agencies

Source: Agencies via SG.

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