Thousands of Israelis protested Saturday in Jerusalem over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption allegations and the government’s handling of the corona virus epidemic.
The crowd gathered outside Netanyahu’s house, blew whistles, waved signs and flags, and called for his resignation.
Small protests were held with bridges at major junctions in cities across Israel.
The Israeli media estimated that about 10,000 people attended the weekly demonstration in Jerusalem. Organizers said 25,000 people had joined the protest.
As COVID-19 cases increase, demonstrations, now in their 12th week, are building in the summer.
Israel, with a population of nine million, has reported nearly 150,000 infections and more than 1,000 deaths.
Thousands are urging Netanyahu to step down over the Corona virus scandal
The country is in recession as a result of the epidemic and the unemployment rate is over 20 percent.
A study released by the Israeli Democratic Institute in August found that 61 percent of Israelis do not trust Netanyahu to manage the corona virus crisis.
Some critics of the PM have accused him of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
The 70-year-old was indicted in November in cases involving gifts from wealthy friends and sought disciplinary help from media executives in exchange for favorable protection. His case is set to reopen in May.
Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing. He described his investigation as a left-wing political witch hunt aimed at ousting a popular right-wing leader.
He also condemned the protests against him, accusing the protesters of trampling on democracy.
A diplomatic breakthrough with the United Arab Emirates in August – followed by Bahrain on Friday – was largely welcomed by Israelis, but obscured by economic fears triggered by the corona virus crisis.
Following a media setback, Netanyahu canceled plans to travel with his family on an executive jet to Washington, D.C., for the signing ceremony of the Israeli-United Arab Emirates agreement on Sunday.
Some media commentators have been criticizing the Israelis’ plans to head to the United States since March for their second lockout in March as extravagant.
The prime minister’s aides said plans to travel separately were a health precaution. But Netanyahu’s office said on Friday he would travel with other delegates.
Reuters news agency
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