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Anti-Netanyahu protesters turn out in defiance of police

Israeli police officers take a protester into custody as thousands of people stage a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding his resignation over corruption cases and his failure to combat the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Tel Aviv, Israel on August 23, 2020. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli police officers take a protester into custody as thousands of people stage a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding his resignation over corruption cases and his failure to combat the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Tel Aviv, Israel on August 23, 2020. [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]

Israeli anti-government protesters turned out in droves on Saturday in defiance of a police ban on the demonstrations, according to i24 News.

The protesters turned out in force to protest "crime minister" Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Prime Minister of Israel, in Jerusalem.

Despite police warnings not to, the protestors made their way through key routes in Jerusalem in order to get to Netanyahu's residence on Balfour street.

The protesters are demanding Netanyahu's resignation over his failure to combat COVID-19, and the corruption charges being brought against him of which he will stand trial for, making him the only Israeli prime minister to stand trial for corruption whilst in office.

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The Jerusalem police expressly banned the protests, tell the organisers: "The position of the police is not to allow this march which, depending on the route, could disturb residents and visitors, as it is the main route into and out of the city."

However, the organisers rejected the proposed alternative routes and responded: "You cannot stop the protests. It is your role to protect us, it is ours to protect a country that is collapsing."

The police reported 30 people were arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning, and claimed three police officers were injured.

Netanyahu has thus far refused to resign as prime minister, insisting he will remain in office whilst facing trial for corruption.

He has been indicted on charges of bribery, fraud. and breach of trust during a hearing in October 2019, and was expected to relinquish his positions in government; something he has thus far refused to do.

Netanyahu's government has been roundly criticised for its response to COVID-19, which many dissatisfied that citizens are not being assisted by the government, and a perceived failure to curb the deadly bug.

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