Israelis wave national flags and raise banners as they demonstrate on August 20, 2020, in support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (image), near his residence in Jerusalem. (Photo by menahem kahana / AFP)
Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Israel late Saturday, demanding the departure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been indicted for corruption.
In Jerusalem, thousands rallied outside the prime minister’s official residence, while hundreds more protested in Caesarea, where Netanyahu has a private home, and in other parts of Israel.
Protests demanding that Netanyahu resign over several corruption indictments and his handling of the novel coronavirus crisis have been mounting in recent weeks.
They usually take place on Saturdays after Shabbat and despite concerns over crowds gathering as the country faces a spike in virus cases.
Ya’ara Peretz braved a heatwave in Jerusalem to rally, saying that the protest movement reflects that many Israelis are fed up with Netanyahu.
“Protesters share a common point, they want a deep change in the (political) system,” she said.
Israel won praise for its initial response to the Covid-19 outbreak, but the government has come under criticism amid a resurgence in cases after restrictions were lifted starting in late April.
Netanyahu has acknowledged that the economy was re-opened too quickly.
On Thursday, Israel announced a new lockdown affecting 30 areas as it grapples with one of the world’s highest detected per capita infection rates and a death toll nearing 1,000.