Middle East

Fresh round of Israel protests sparked by Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial

Protesters light torches during a protest against Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Source: AP

More than 7000 people have taken part in demonstrations across Israel, protesting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the nation's coronavirus restrictions.

Thousands of Israelis have demonstrated in several locations across the country against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption trial and coronavirus pandemic crisis management.

According to a police spokesman on Saturday, more than 7000 people took part in a demonstration near the official residence of the 70-year-old premier in Jerusalem, demanding his resignation.

Around 1,000 people also came to a rally at Mr Netanyahu's private residence in the coastal city of Caesarea, the police said. There was also a demonstration in Tel Aviv.

There were no initial estimates of the number of participants from the organisers of the protests.

Thousands of protesters chant slogans and hold signs during a protest outside the Jerusalem residence of  Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Thousands of protesters chant slogans and hold signs during a protest outside the Jerusalem residence of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
AP

The police were out in force with hundreds of officers after protesters were attacked by suspected right-wingers during an anti-Netanyahu demonstration in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

There have been demonstrations against Netanyahu in Israel for weeks. Amid the coronavirus crisis, he is accused of, among other things, premature easing of lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the virus and a lack of preparation for a second wave.

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Unemployment in the country is now over 20 per cent as the economic fallout from the pandemic bites.

Legal proceedings are also under way against Mr Netanyahu. He is charged with fraud, breach of trust and bribery. Many Israelis do not want to accept that Mr Netanyahu remains in office while the corruption trial is ongoing.

The prime minister denies all allegations.

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