Thousands of demonstrators gathered this Saturday evening outside the residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem to protest after the government’s attempt to limit protests as a measure to combat the covid-19 pandemic.
According to the AFP report, Saturday night in Jerusalem there were two types of citizens on the streets: those practicing athletics and those demonstrating outside the official residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
To the sound of plastic drums and trumpets, thousands of Israelis gathered to criticize economic and health management in the face of the covid-19 pandemic, but also to denounce corruption and call for a change of government. Protesters also denounced violence against Palestinians, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.
Faced with the increase in cases, the Government last week imposed a “reconfiguration” “of at least three weeks”, reinforced Friday by the closing of synagogues, with the exception of the celebrations of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement, celebrated Sunday night and Monday).
The prime minister has also sought to curb anti-government protests, which have taken place every weekend since July, outside the government residence, identifying groups of 20 who could not meet more than a mile from their homes.
This measure was not approved by parliament, with some MPs arguing that the fight against the pandemic cannot come at the expense of limitations on democratic rights.
Police authorized the demonstration, but asked participants to maintain a distance of two meters between them and to wear a mask, measures widely respected, according to the AFP journalist.
“I came here because they tried to silence the protests. The people here are the only hope for a free and democratic Israel, ”said Adi, 48, who traveled from Tel Aviv, about 70 kilometers from Jerusalem. Shoshanna, 34, was happy to see so many people at the protest, but declined to be a victory.
“The government has closed everything without providing financial assistance,” he said, with the hope that the demonstration will be “more organized” to bring about “real changes”.
Benjamin Netanyahu criticized MPs for rejecting restrictions on protests. “The populist decision of parliament to cancel the restrictions that the government imposed after the increase in cases of infections is totally wrong,” he said, through a video posted on the Internet. Thousands of protesters also gathered through online platforms overnight to protest the prime minister without leaving his home.