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Anti-government protests could lead to ‘dangerous places’, Israel’s security chief warns

April 3, 2024 at 2:56 pm

Hundreds of people, holding banners and flags, stage the protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister and the return of Israeli detainees as Israeli citizens set up hundreds of tents in front of Knesset (Israeli Parliament) in Jerusalem on April 02, 2024 [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

The head of Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency warned, Wednesday, that violent protests could lead to “dangerous places” in the country, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The violent discourse online and some of the scenes we saw tonight in Jerusalem go beyond acceptable protest, harm the ability to maintain public order, could lead to violent clashes with law enforcement, disrupt their ability to carry out their work and even cause harm to individuals under protection,” Ronen Bar said in a statement.

“There is a clear line between legitimate protest and violent and illegal protest. This is a worrying trend that could lead to dangerous places which we must not come to,” he added.

Protesters breached police barriers around Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in West Jerusalem during anti-government protests Tuesday night.

Israeli protesters rallied to demand the government’s resignation, early elections and a hostage-prisoner swap deal with Palestinian group, Hamas.

READ: Netanyahu government failed to return hostages, must go: Yair Lapid

Hamas, which is believed to be holding nearly 130 Israeli hostages, demands an end to Israel’s military offensive on the Gaza Strip in return for a hostage deal with Tel Aviv.

A previous deal in November last year saw the release of 81 Israelis and 24 foreigners in exchange for 240 Palestinians, including 71 women and 169 children.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since a 7 October cross-border attack by the Palestinian group, Hamas, which killed around 1,200 people.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

At least 32,975 Palestinians have since been killed and 75,577 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities. Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85 per cent of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which, last week, asked it to do more to prevent famine in Gaza.

WATCH: Thousands rally across Israel demanding Netanyahu’s resignation, hostage swap deal with Hamas