Several thousand protesters in Jerusalem gathered on Saturday outside the official residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding his resignation as Israel moves toward an early election.
The protesters have been gathering weekly for the past six months, saying Netanyahu should step down because of his corruption trial and what they say is mismanagement of the country’s coronavirus crisis.
"Week 24 of the anti-Netanyahu protests…
One of the marches heading towards Balfour" https://t.co/EwofYo6ac4
— Marian Houk (@Marianhouk) December 5, 2020
The protests began last spring when Netanyahu and his chief rival, Benny Gantz, agreed to form what they called an emergency government focused on managing the health and economic challenges stemming from the virus pandemic.
Their partnership has been paralyzed by infighting, and a pair of lockdowns hit the economy hard, sending unemployment skyrocketing to double-digit figures.
With wintry weather settling in, the crowds have begun to shrink. But participants remained vocal and animated Saturday. Nearly all wore masks, though not everyone observed social distancing.
Opinion by Dr Adnan Abu Amer – The countdown begins for Israel's fourth early elections https://t.co/dVGmtIFcsG
— Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) December 6, 2020
This week, Gantz, who serves as Netanyahu’s defense minister, joined the opposition in approving a preliminary measure to dissolve the parliament and force new elections. He cited the government’s failure to approve a budget.
A final vote to disband parliament could take place as soon as next week. The budget must be approved by December 23, in any case. A failure to do so would automatically cause the troubled coalition to collapse and trigger an early election.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)