The protests against Netanyahu try to mark a position of strength before the March 23 elections in Israel.
The anti-Netanyahu protest movement had tried to mark a position of strength this Saturday with a large demonstration outside its official residence in Jerusalem, a few days before Tuesday’s elections, after the weekly marches against the prime minister lost steam in the last months.
According to the Haaretz newspaper, more than 20,000 people have gathered in the Holy City to demand the resignation of the head of Government for his corruption prosecution in the most popular protest since they began last July.
The marches have been going on every Saturday since then, but lately, they had been deflating.
The organizers have tried to mobilize as many people as possible this Saturday to mark a pulse for the prime minister again and have ensured that the attendance of 50,000 people has been reached.
Some of the protesters have marched from Jerusalem’s outskirts to the prime minister’s residence. In contrast, others have come from the rest of the country in a convoy of cars.
Likewise, as is usual every Saturday, there have also been protests in other towns, roundabouts, and bridges in different parts of Israel.
Fourth general elections in less than two years
Benjamin Netanyahu will try to revalidate March 23 in the fourth general elections that Israel holds in less than two years.
The new early elections were called after Parliament closed its meetings to approve the new Budgets without an agreement, shelving the Government of unity between Netanyahu and the Blue and White opposition leader, Benjamin Gantz.
The polls point to a new victory for the Likud. However, they again reflect a divided Knesset that would prevent any of the blocs from taking over the majority.
The elections will also take place within the framework of the trial against Netanyahu for alleged corruption.
The Jerusalem District Court in February postponed the evidence presentation phase until April 5, after the elections. However, it rejected the defense’s request to withdraw the charges against Netanyahu, who in May 2020 became the first chief executive to be tried for corruption cases while in office.
Protests against Netanyahu, led by civil society members and independent parties, were widespread last summer when many came out to protest against the management COVID-19 by the Government.
This Saturday’s demonstration occurs as Israel continues its return to relative normality due to the pandemic.
After a third six-week shutdown, the country began its reopening in February and is attempting to return to daily life as its morbidity rate declines, following a rapid vaccination campaign that has already fully inoculated more than 4 or 5 million people, around half of its population.