About fifteen thousand people demonstrated on Saturday evening in Paris Square in Jerusalem, against government corruption and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is one of the largest demonstrations against Netanyahu, especially in light of the fact that the demonstrators are facing restrictions on social distance.
The protesters marched in the direction of the prime minister's residence in the city. Simultaneously with this demonstration, about a thousand other people demonstrated in front of the Netanyahu family's home in Caesarea. In addition, protest demonstrations were held at about 260 intersections across the country, and a demonstration was also held at Charles Clore Park in Tel Aviv.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Motti Cohen arrived at the protest complex in the capital, which was attended by about 10,000 protesters. Cohen added that "the police will do whatever it takes to ensure the realization of the protesters' rights, but at the same time we will not allow violence of any kind, harm to demonstrators, civilians and police alike."
The investigating military police opened an investigation into an IDF soldier's call to open fire on protesters against Netanyahu. The soldier wrote in a post he posted on Facebook: "Start firing live ammunition. They should be treated like terrorists and even worse. Three minutes of ammunition firing all disperse and you can get rid of some scum." This is a commander who does not carry a weapon. Earlier, four young men were detained for questioning on suspicion of using violence against protesters.
In one incident, three young men were detained for questioning, on suspicion of spraying water on demonstrators standing at an intersection on Road 34. Police officers who were nearby identified their vehicle, and arrested the suspects, residents of Be'er Sheva in their 20s, at the Sha'ar Hanegev intersection. In another incident, a young man in his 20s was arrested at the Ashkelon junction on Road 4, after standing with the demonstrators and at one point began to spit on them, shouting and cursing. Police officers who were at the scene detained him, and after he continued swearing and rioting he was arrested.
In Haifa, the police detained Der Rehov for questioning in his 40s, after he allegedly threw a stone at demonstrators at a charming intersection in the city, injuring a woman.
The chairman of the "Joint List" party, MK Ayman Odeh, who took part in the demonstration in Jerusalem, said that "I took an hour's break from the celebrations of the Feast of Sacrifice to demonstrate in Balfour." He added that "throwing Netanyahu and the racist and corrupt way he represents is the first step in the deep correction required here."
At the demonstration the self-employed business owners who do not own companies in the Charles Clore Garden gathered hundreds of happy people against the economic situation following the Corona crisis. In Caesarea, in front of Netanyahu's private residence, about a thousand people protested against government corruption. Thousands of protesters gathered in Jerusalem, reporting that police had blocked several entrances to Paris Square, where the protesters had gathered, and that they were trying to evacuate a tent in the area.
The demonstration was opened by Nir Hirschman, one of the leaders of the Cabinet of Hope, who said that "while the government had to plan a fight in the economic crisis, they were busy arranging for Netanyahu almost a million shekels in tax refunds. Balfour, Caesarea, Tel Aviv, this is the same protest." He added that "we are here, but the heart is in Balfour. Netanyahu, you are responsible for this suffering. Your extractions and improvisations are leading hundreds of thousands to economic destruction. It is a shame."
Esti Zakheim, chairman of Shaham, said at the demonstration that "they will try to silence us, they will not be allowed to. Our protest is right. We are not people of war, we are people of culture and events and we demand compensation for the government's decision to close us." She added that "we have paid taxes all our lives, and today we demand a subsistence fee to survive the period. You closed us five months ago, you will pay."
The "Black Flags" movement last night appealed to Acting Commissioner Moti Cohen to secure the protesters in the various centers, following a series of attacks last week. The movement leading the protest said that "this week we were exposed to how far the accused is willing to go against the people of Israel for his interests. The incitement and hatred that comes out of Balfour towards citizenship and citizens is further proof that he is unfit for the job."
The organizers of the demonstration added that "the violence coming out of Balfour will not scare us, the more they incite so we grow, the more they attack us the more we will break out". Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.
It is unclear at this time how the eve of the demonstrations will end. Will the police be forced to disperse the protesters by force and will the protesters respond to the police request to disperse towards midnight.