The protests in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were against the corruption of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his response against the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis that has been generated.
Thousands of people protested this Saturday in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv against the corruption of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as for his management of the coronavirus pandemic before a second wave in Israel of the pandemic and an increase in discontent over the economic crisis after the new social restrictions.
Popular anger grew in recent days, in tune with new restrictions imposed in the face of the resurgence of the epidemic that sank the economy, and protesters accused the government of being “disconnected” from reality. A first mobilization took place in Jerusalem in front of Netanyahu’s residence to demand his resignation.
Hundreds of them later dispersed throughout the city, where they attempted to cut streets and confronted the Police, who arrested several people. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said officers had allowed protests to take place, but took action against unauthorized “disturbances”, including road blocks.
“Democracy”, “liar” and “manipulator”, could be read on the banners carried by some of the protesters. It is the second consecutive Saturday in which an act of such magnitude is celebrated in the city. Last week, some 10,000 people already packed the iconic Rabin Square in Tel Aviv to ask for more help from the government.
In the coastal city, thousands of freelancers, workers and entrepreneurs gathered in the central park of Charles Clore to protest against the government’s response to the health and economic crisis, and denounced that Netanyahu did not adopt a firm plan in time. At this point, more than 850,000 Israelis are out of work, and unemployment is around 21 percent.
Israel, with second wave of coronavirus
Israel, which passed the first phase of the coronavirus with a moderate impact, has been experiencing a second, stronger outbreak for weeks. Last week they closed bars, clubs or event rooms, on Friday they imposed the closure of non-essential businesses during weekends and from Tuesday the restaurants will also close, which has serious consequences for the country’s economy.
The situation also hurts the credibility of Netanyahu, who is being prosecuted for corruption, fraud and breach of trust in three cases, the prime minister is the lynchpin of a trial whose next hearing is scheduled for Sunday.
The president took all the medals to successfully contain the first wave, but this second seems to be out of control, the population is increasingly dissatisfied and the unrest is evident in the street, where protests have greatly increased in just over a week.
Analysts consider that there is no clear and unified policy to deal with the new coronavirus, criticize that the latest measures imposed are improvised and perceive division within the unitary Executive. This was formed with the priority of making policies to fight the pandemic, but for now its strategy does not seem to work.