Police arrest 34 in overnight anti-Netanyahu riots

July 22, 2020 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Jerusalem’s police on Tuesday night arrested 34 rioters who participated in protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling for his unseating.

The demonstration in Jerusalem. (Yehonatan Valtser/TPS)

Demonstrators rallied around the prime minister’s official residence in the centre of the city while blocking main routes and clashing with the police.

The demonstrators had a mixture of messages, including charges that Netanyahu was harming Israel’s democracy, that he was on trial for criminal charges and therefore should step down, that he had failed in his leadership during the Coronavirus crisis and that he should seize with his plan to declare sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.

The rally later marched on the Knesset, carrying red flags and signs equating Netanyahu with Syrian dictator Assad and accusing him of all manner of evil.

The police stated that “despite the legitimate protest of most of the protesters, a handful who apparently arrived with the aim of disrupting the order, called the police by derogatory names such as ‘Nazis’ and threw a smoke grenade at the police.”

The police arrested or detained 34 suspects on suspicion of various offences of disturbing public order and assaulting police officers.

The demonstration in Jerusalem. (Yehonatan Valtser/TPS)

The demonstrators throughout the protest used public address systems, drums and horns, which significantly disrupted the residents of the area, and therefore around 1:00, the police asked the demonstrators to leave the area, and after they did not comply, the police forcefully dispersed the rally.

At the Knesset, one of the protestors climbed the famed Menorah, the state symbol situated adjacent to the entrance to the parliament, and exposed herself while waving a red shirt. Another scaled the national symbol and waved a red flag.

One marcher was seen waving an Antifa flag.

The police further noted that it “acted to protect the health of the participants” and distributed about 200 face masks to the participants. In some cases, “enforcement was carried out” against those who did not wear a mask at all.

On Wednesday morning, protestors again converged on the Knesset and blocked roads leading to it.

Tuesday night’s riots were the latest in several such events that took place in recent days in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and the demonstrations’ organizers have vowed to continue with their campaign to unseat Netanyahu.

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