After four weeks of protests centered mainly on squares and intersections near the home, protesters against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned on Saturday evening to protest in Jerusalem near his official residence on Balfour Street following the removal of the distance limit from the house. At the height of the demonstration in Paris Square near the residence hall, more than ten thousand people took part. Alongside this, there were additional demonstrations in many centers around the country. In some of the demonstrations, the participants encountered violence from supporters of the Prime Minister.
Nine suspects were detained for questioning during the march that took place on the streets of Jerusalem, for violating public order and assaulting police officers. Among the detainees is Sadi Ben Sheetrit, one of the leaders of the "Crimea Minister" movement. In addition, a suspect was arrested who was found with tear gas spray on his body.
Deputy Superintendent Alon Kalfon, head of the Jerusalem Police Operations Branch, said at the end of the demonstration: "At the end of the demonstration, we again encountered a handful who violated public order on a gross footing. We will not allow the police to be turned into a punching bag."
Prior to the demonstration in Jerusalem, the police blocked many streets. At 9:30 PM, the police reminded the demonstrators on loudspeakers that according to the High Court ruling, noise from such devices as airbags, drums and percussion is prohibited from this hour. Indeed, most of the demonstrators stopped making noise.
Some of the protesters arrived in the capital in convoys of vehicles. Hundreds of protesters arrived in Paris Square marching from the Sucker Garden through Bezalel Street. More than a hundred more protesters came in a separate march from the Talpiot neighborhood.
After 10:00 PM, hundreds of demonstrators began marching through the streets of central Jerusalem, and police tried to block their progress. On Hillel Street, eggs were thrown from the window of one of the houses at the protesters. Protesters briefly blocked the light rail near Jaffa Central Station, and clashes broke out between protesters and YSM police. Police arrested or detained three of the marchers for assaulting police and violating public order. Towards midnight, police announced to protesters remaining in Paris Square that they intended to open the road. And that whoever stays on the road will be fined.
Dan Dolev, a 34-year-old engineer from Yavne, first came to demonstrate in Balfour. "Until now I have seen the demonstrations from the television and decided that I must calm my conscience and come once and participate," he said. "There is a different feeling in the air, that it is no longer a crisis that has to wait for the election, but everything is fundamentally rotten. The feeling is that the class bully is doing whatever he pleases and it is time for the silent majority to bring justice to light."
Some of the movements participating in the protest described the demonstration in the capital tonight as significant, but some protesters said the larger demonstration is expected next week. The "No Situation" movement, headed by Amir Hashakel, noted that even during the closure, the Balfour encampment was staffed by volunteers who kept the rules.
In the midst of the demonstrations, Netanyahu addressed them at a press conference he held ahead of the first phase of the closure. "I had no war with them. We lifted the state of emergency on Tuesday. The thing we talked about is not the right to demonstrate. No one is arguing about it. It is being argued in other countries, in other democracies like Australia. In Australia we do not allow demonstration during an epidemic. We allow. "The public is also protesting for political reasons. It is their right. But not their right to break the rules. Not to keep their distance and wear masks. I am not excited about it. Everyone understands that it is political and therefore it does not affect me."
The Crimean Minister movement said: "30,000 determined protesters have returned to Balfour with a clear message to the accused - you cannot destroy the country and divide the people. The Balfour tune cannot be stopped. We will be here every Saturday until you leave."
In the north, police arrested three residents of Kiryat Yam, on suspicion of spraying tear gas at participants in several demonstrations in Haifa. Police found the gas canisters in the suspects' car, young men in their 20s.
In Ramat Gan, demonstrators in Orda Square complained about threats against them. The suspect in the act, a 60-year-old city resident, refused to identify himself to police officers, violated public order and objected to the delay, so he was arrested and taken for questioning at a police station.
The organizers of the black flag protest responded to the incidents of violence: "Netanyahu incites violence - and the violence is not long in coming. He and his government partners have full responsibility for the attacks, the severe violence, the hatred and the split."
Although the center of the demonstrations returned to Jerusalem, mass demonstrations were also held in Tel Aviv. Thousands of people attended a rally of the Movement for Quality of Government in Rabin Square, and hundreds demonstrated in Habima Square. Afterwards, a march took place from Habima Square through the city streets, which was attended by more than 1,500 people.
Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni spoke at a demonstration in Rabin Square and said: "I could not remain silent anymore and I came to say to the Prime Minister - so far. I came to say thank you to the Israeli demonstrators for your determination in front of the self-employed and party leadership. But a generation of hope. Mr. Prime Minister, if you are fair, go out now and prevent the next violence. You can not say later I did not know, I did not see, I did not mean. The violence will not help in front of civilians who will continue to flock and demonstrate without an armored car because they do not We are willing to remain silent. "
200 people demonstrated in Kugel Square in Holon, after protesters were attacked with pepper spray on Thursday, and "Crime Minister" activist Sadi Ben Sheetrit was beaten in the Meditech plaza by dozens of members of "La Familia". Activists of the youth organizations against Netanyahu came to the demonstrations, who came to strengthen the local demonstrators. The police are preparing with increased forces.
In the south of the country, hundreds of people demonstrated at the various intersections, from Grofit and Paran in the Arava to the Halukim junction, Dvira and Arad junctions and Beer Sheva.