Israel Sees Anti-Netanyahu Demonstrations While Hostage Families Demand A Parliamentary Rally

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Following two protests in Israel’s largest city that criticized the government’s handling of the conflict and demanded the release of hostages held in Gaza, demonstrators blocked Tel Aviv’s ring route on Saturday.

When demonstrators set fire to themselves, police responded with water cannons and utilized vehicles to block both lanes of the road.

Hundreds of people in Jerusalem picketed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s house, calling for his resignation. Smaller-scale anti-government demonstrations were reported nationwide by Israeli media.

Earlier, thousands of people flocked to Tel Aviv to hear the families of hostages kidnapped on October 7 by Hamas militants demand a large-scale demonstration in front of the nation’s parliament the following week.Israelis should put more pressure on Netanyahu, according to Shira Elbag, whose 19-year-old daughter Liri was kidnapped by Hamas militants during the raid on October 7. Elbag made an impassioned plea.

“It’s time to fight for life and against indifference,” protestors declared during a larger-than-usual weekly demonstration in Tel Aviv, which they dubbed Hostages Square.

“I want you to accompany us into the streets so we can yell with one voice, ‘Bring them home now!'”

Anti-government demonstrators gathered in the vicinity of the Ministry of Defence at the same time and held signs reading, “UR the boss, UR to blame,” beside images of Netanyahu, assigning him responsibility for the hostages’ fate.As the demonstrators flocked into the ring road, shutting it for over an hour, police declared the event illegal and referred to the participants as “rioters.”

According to an AFP photographer, many of the people who demonstrated in favor of the families of the hostages joined the anti-government demonstrators.

On October 7, Hamas militants took approximately 250 captives; of these, Israel believes 130 are still in Gaza, 33 of whom are thought to be dead.Raz Ben Ami, a former captive who was set free in November thanks to an agreement mediated by Washington and Qatar, made a direct plea to Netanyahu to expedite negotiations for the release of the remaining hostages.

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