Thousands of Israelis protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Saturday over his alleged corruption and the government’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic.
The mob rallied outside Netanyahu’s residence, whistled, waved signs and flags, and called for his resignation.
There were small protests with bridges over large internationals in Israeli cities.
The Israeli media estimated that the weekly demonstration in Jerusalem was attended by about 10,000 people. About 25,000 people joined the protest, organizers said.
Protests, now in their 12th week, have been building up over the coming summer in COVID-19 cases.
With a population of nine million, about 150,000 infections and more than 1,000 deaths have been reported in Israel.
Thousands have demanded that Netanyahu abandon the coronavirus, corruption
The country is in recession as a result of the epidemic and the unemployment rate is hovering above 20 percent.
A survey published in August by the Israel Democracy Institute found that 61 percent of Israelis did not trust Netanyahu to manage the coronavirus crisis.
Some critics of the PM say he is engaged in a corruption trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
The 70-year-old was charged in November with receiving gifts from wealthy friends and obtaining regulatory favor for a media tycoon in exchange for favorable coverage. His trial opened in May and is set to resume in January.
Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing. He described his experiment as a left-wing political witch-hunt, intended to unset a popular right-wing leader.
He also condemned the protests against the protesters, accusing them of denying democracy.
Diplomatic success with the UAE in August Gust – then by Bahrain on Friday – has been widely welcomed by Israelis, but has been overshadowed by economic fears arising from the coronavirus crisis.
Following the media reaction, Netanyahu canceled plans to travel in an executive jet with his family to Washington DC on Sunday for the signing ceremony of the Israel-UAE agreement.
Some media critics have lashed out at plans to travel to the United States at a time when Israelis are heading for their second lockdown since March.
Aides to the prime minister said the plan to travel separately was a health precaution. But Netanyahu’s office said on Friday that he would travel with the rest of the delegation.
Reuters news agency
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