Protesters denounce Netanyahu's handling of the coronavirus pandemic

Thousands of anti-government protesters gather in Jerusalem to denounce Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of coronavirus pandemic and demand he quits over corruption charges in 11th week of demonstrations

  • The protest on Saturday came as Israel copes with record levels of coronavirus 
  • Demanded Netanyahu’s resignation over corruption and rising Covid-19 rates  
  • Protesters scuffled with police and thirteen arrests were made  

Thousands of Israelis protested have gathered outside the official residence of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, pressing ahead with a months-long campaign demanding the embattled Israeli leader resign.

The protest on Saturday came as Israel copes with record levels of coronavirus infections.

Demonstrators have been protesting at Mr Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, which has led to soaring unemployment, and they say he should step down while on trial for corruption charges.

Demonstrators gather to stage a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding his resignation over corruption cases and his failure to combat the coronavirus pandemic in West Jerusalem on September 5

Israeli police arrest a protester during the Saturday protest. The protest on Saturday came as Israel copes with record levels of coronavirus infections

Israeli police arrest a protester. Demonstrators have been protesting at Mr Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, which has led to soaring unemployment, and they say he should step down while on trial for corruption charges

Protesters held banners reading ‘Revolution’and ‘Get out of here’ and held blue and white Israeli flags.

A sign aimed at the prime minister was projected on a building reading in Hebrew: ‘Enough with you.’

Smaller crowds gathered on bridges and intersections across the country also calling for Mr Netanyahu to step down.

The government moved quickly to contain the coronavirus last spring, but bungled the reopening of the economy and now finds itself dealing with a stronger outbreak.

Israeli protester gather during the Saturday protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu due to his corruption charges, for the eleventh week, outside his residence in Jerusalem

Demonstrators gather to stage a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli police arrest a demonstrator during a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

The death toll has surpassed 1,000 people, and the country is considering a new lockdown to stop the rapid spike in daily infections. Israel currently has more than 26,000 active Covid-19 patients.

Although the demonstrations have largely been peaceful in recent weeks, protesters scuffled with police in several locations.

At least 13 arrests were made, including a man that police said ‘was dressed up as a woman in a provocative way’.

Police also said two officers were lightly injured when a crowd burst through a police blockade.

Mr Netanyahu has dismissed the protesters as ‘leftists’ and ‘anarchists’. But his tough talk, and even a series of foreign policy accomplishments, have done nothing to deter the crowds.

Mr Netanyahu has vowed to remain in office despite being charged last year with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three long-running corruption investigations.

He has denied the allegations, calling them a ‘witch hunt’ and lashing out at the judiciary, law enforcement and media.

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