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Thousands of Israelis protest against Netanyahu despite lockdown

Israeli anti-government protesters chant slogans during a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the coastal city of Tel Aviv, on October 3, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Thousands of Israelis protested across the country on Saturday, flouting a new law meant to curb anti-government demonstrations during a coronavirus lockdown.

The street protests, just three days after parliament approved an edict to limit the scope of such demonstrations, kept pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his handling of the coronavirus crisis and over allegations of corruption, which he denies.

The new law bans Israelis from holding demonstrations more than 1 km from their homes and forces stricter social distancing, a measure the government said was aimed at curbing COVID-19 infections.

Critics have called it a blow to freedom of speech.

Israelis waves flags as they protest against legislation banning them from holding demonstrations more than 1 km from their homes, a measure the government said was aimed at curbing the coronavirus disease infections, in Jerusalem October 3, 2020.

Israelis waves flags as they protest against legislation banning them from holding demonstrations more than 1 km from their homes, a measure the government said was aimed at curbing the coronavirus disease infections, in Jerusalem October 3, 2020.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

 

Most protests on Saturday night were small and scattered throughout the country, though a crowd of thousands gathered in Tel Aviv. A small number of protesters scuffled with police and tried to block city streets. About fifteen people were arrested, a police spokesman said.

Israel has shut down much of its economy and instructed people to stay within a kilometre of their homes whenever possible in an effort to contain a second-wave surge in coronavirus infections.

Police officers in plainclothes detain a person in Tel Aviv, Israel October 3, 2020.

Police officers in plainclothes detain a person in Tel Aviv, Israel October 3, 2020.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

 

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 4:29:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/thousands-of-israelis-protest-against-netanyahu-despite-lockdown/article32764427.ece

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