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Israel: thousands continue to protest against Netanyahu

People gather to protest against the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Western Jerusalem on January 29, 2021 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
People gather to protest against the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Western Jerusalem on January 29, 2021 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

Thousands of Israelis demonstrated on Saturday against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and called for him to step down, Quds Press has reported. This is the 32nd week that such protests have been held against the Israeli leader, who faces three indictments on corruption and fraud charges.

According to Israeli media, the anti-Netanyahu protests were launched around the country and gathered in front of Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem and near his home in Caesarea. The protesters called for a commission to investigate Netanyahu's inability to deal with the Covid-19 crisis and to find out why he has kept the minutes of his cabinet's meetings secret for 30 years.

Netanyahu's corruption scandal - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Netanyahu's corruption scandal – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

For the first time in months, Israeli police used water cannon to disperse the protesters in Jerusalem and arrested a number of them. One officer burst a submarine-shaped balloon held by one of the protesters to highlight the issue of Netanyahu's alleged corruption related to Israel's purchase of submarines from Germany valued at $2 billion.

The Black Flags movement organised a rally in Tel Aviv to express sorrow over the death of 4,600 Israelis from Covid-19 and to protest against Netanyahu's inability to deal with the pandemic. The prime minister, meanwhile, is focusing attention on the vaccination campaign in an attempt to avoid a criminal trial.

"Netanyahu is taking the state as a hostage in order to postpone his prosecution," claimed the Crime Minister Movement. "He is kneeling down in front of the fanatics instead of running the crisis. He is extending the lockdown and proposes an economic plan that pledges bribes for the voters."

The movement insists that Netanyahu has lost control of the pandemic. "His irresponsible reaction to the pandemic is more dangerous than the [1973] Yom Kippur War."

READ: Hundreds protest against adjournment of Netanyahu's trial

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