Thousands of people gathered across Israel on Saturday night, October 17, in the latest in a series of protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The main protest was held outside the prime minister's official residence on Jerusalem's Balfour Street. During recent weeks demonstrations have been relatively small scale due to the lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). However, with the measures set to be lifted, protesters gathered in central Jerusalem before marching to the residence, and others gathered at multiple locations nationwide. There were a few reports of far-right counter-demonstrators attempting to disrupt the protests, including in Haifa, where three people were arrested for using pepper spray on demonstrators.
Further protests are expected to take place across Israel over the near term. Any demonstrations will likely be accompanied by a heightened security presence and localized transport disruptions. Clashes with counter-demonstrators are also possible in the vicinity of any protests.
Protests have been reported throughout Israel in recent months over the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Anger over the issue has been compounded by pre-existing anti-Netanyahu sentiment, with the Prime Minister facing three criminal cases over alleged corruption.
Those in Israel are advised to monitor developments, avoid protests as a precaution, anticipate transport disruptions in the vicinity of any demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer