Tens of Thousands Protest in Israel Demanding Netanyahu’s Resignation

Tel Aviv, MINA – Tens of thousands protested Saturday in several cities in Israel, including Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem, to demand early elections and the release of hostages held in the Gaza Strip, Anadolu Agency reports.

An Anadolu correspondent said demonstrations were also held in Caesarea, Haifa and Be’er Sheva.

Demonstrators protested at the intersection of Kaplan Street and near the Kirya (Defense Ministry) in Tel Aviv. Families of hostages held a protest in the city’s museum square.

Protesters demanded immediate early elections and held the government responsible for not returning hostages from Gaza.

In front of the Defense Ministry, Einav Tsinguker, the mother of detainee Matan Tsinguker, attacked Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir.

“He wants to burn the country and open a new front against Iran,” she said.

Tsinguker, addressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said: “Your hands are stained with the blood of the dead. You abandoned (the hostages in Gaza), corrupted, stole and occupied,” in reference to charges he faces in his corruption trial.

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“Taking pictures with soldiers or at Independence Day celebrations (Palestinian Nakba anniversary) won’t help you. Nothing can cleanse you from failure and abandonment. Hamas defeated you, and we paid the price,” she said.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid addressed the rally in Paris Square in Haifa. “This government is not the state. This government is a disaster for the country,” he said. “They will not convince me that there is no alternative, and that this terrible and extremist government is the best thing this country can offer its citizens.”

“For the sake of the hostages, for the sake of the soldiers, for the sake of those evacuated (from their homes in southern and northern Israel), for the sake of saving the state of Israel, we need to hold elections now,” he said.

Former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz also spoke in Haifa.

“Netanyahu is not interested in the return of the hostages because it heralds the end of his rule.”

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“They (the hostages) were abandoned six months ago, and Israel did not put an offer on the table to pay everything in return for their release,” he said. “The absolute victory promised by Netanyahu will not happen, and there has been no war in Gaza for over three months. When there is no road, you will never reach your destination.”

On Kaplan Street, Ruby Hain, the father of soldier Itay Hain, who the army announced in March was “killed while being abducted,” said senior officials of the US administration offered condolences to the family after announcing the death of his son, but “Netanyahu sent a message to the family just last week.”

“He hides behind a message instead of looking into our eyes. Netanyahu lacks the basic human qualities that make the leader of the people of Israel a human being,” he said. “I feel ashamed because he is the leader of the people of Israel.”

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Israel has been witnessing almost daily protests demanding Netanyahu to hasten reaching an agreement with Palestinian factions in Gaza and to hold early elections.

Hamas accuses Netanyahu of “stubbornness” and a lack of desire to reach an agreement. The group has insisted on ending the onslaught in Gaza, withdrawal of the Israeli army, allowing the return of displaced residents and the entry of sufficient aid into the enclave.

Flouting the International Court of Justice’s provisional ruling, Israel continues its onslaught on the Gaza Strip where at least 34,049 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and 76,901 injured since Oct. 7, according to Palestinian health authorities.

The Israeli onslaught has pushed 85 per cent of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN. (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)