Creating new perspectives since 2009

Protesters in Israel rally against Netanyahu’s government, demand release of hostages

March 3, 2024 at 11:20 am

Israeli police officers intervene the demonstrators as they gather to stage a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, demanding early election and return of prisoners in Tel Aviv, Israel on March 02, 2024. [Saeed Qaq – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli police arrested seven protesters Saturday for rioting as demonstrators closed Begin Street during a downtown rally to demand the release of hostages held in Gaza, Anadolu reports.

“Israeli police arrested 7 protesters in Kaplan Square in downtown Tel Aviv on charges of rioting during the rally demanding the government to strike a deal with Hamas to release the hostages held in Gaza,” the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported.

It pointed out that other demonstrators closed Begin Street — a vital thoroughfare in Tel Aviv — as part of pressure on the government.​​​​​​​

In West Jerusalem, hundreds of Israelis demonstrated near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence, demanding he strike a deal with the Palestinian resistance group.

Protesters also demanded immediate elections, according to Yedioth Ahronoth.

In Caesarea in northern Israel, 1,200 demonstrated in front of Netanyahu’s house, demanding the release of the hostages and the resignation of the government, according to the Israeli broadcasting authority.

READ: 3 Israeli soldiers killed in building in Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis

Demonstrators chanted against Netanyahu’s government and shouted, “Elections now!”

Thousands of Israelis also participated in other areas of Israel, including Haifa, Raanana and Rehovot.

Qatar, alongside Egypt and the United States, is sponsoring negotiations to reach a prisoner exchange deal and a cease-fire in Gaza between Tel Aviv and Palestinian factions, with sources suggesting it could happen before March 11, when Ramadan is expected to begin.

Israel vowed to destroy Hamas after the Oct. 7 attacks in which around 1,200 Israelis were killed and about 250 others taken hostage in Gaza.

More than 30,000 Palestinians have since been killed in Israeli strikes, and many more bodies are likely unaccounted for under the rubble across the besieged enclave.

Israel and Hamas have been negotiating through Egyptian, Qatari and American mediators on a possible cease-fire.

An earlier truce for cessation of hostilities and hostage-prisoner exchange lasted for one week in late November.

WATCH: Genocide, the law and speaking out: MEMO in conversation with Mohammad Fadel