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Israel police disperse protesters demanding hostage swap with Hamas

June 18, 2024 at 7:00 pm

Police officers intervene the protesters, demand the resignation of the government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, gather in West Jerusalem on June 17, 2024. [Saeed Qaq – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli police dispersed protesters in west Jerusalem, on Tuesday, demanding a hostage swap deal with Hamas, Anadolu Agency reports.

Protesters blocked a road at the Givat Mordechai Interchange by placing ladders in the middle of the road and displayed signs calling for the release of Israelis held captive by Hamas, Israeli Channel 12 reported.

“Elections now” chanted the protesters in the latest pressure on Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to step down.

Thousands of Israelis demonstrated near the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) late Monday to demand early elections and a prisoner swap with Hamas.

Hamas, which is believed to be holding more than 120 Israeli hostages, demands an end to Israel’s deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip in return for any hostage swap with Tel Aviv.

Flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire, Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since 7 October, 2023 attack by Hamas.

More than 37,350 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and over 85,400 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on 6 May.

READ: Israel recommended to downgrade relations with countries recognising State of Palestine