Friday, April 12, 2024

Israeli police use water cannon at anti-Netanyahu protest

The Israeli police have scuffled with thousands of demonstrators demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet amid the war in the Gaza Strip.

The rallies were held in the coastal city of Tel Aviv on Saturday, when the police deployed water cannons to disperse the participants.

The tactic prompted scuffles between the demonstrators and the police, who rounded up at least 21 people, Israeli paper Ha’aretz reported.

“The police created this mess,” the daily quoted one protest leader as saying.

“The number of protesters was not greater than in previous weeks. When they activated the water cannon…they turned it into a significant event that drew people,” he added.

The protesters have been holding similar monumental rallies across the occupied territories, mainly in Tel Aviv, every week for months on end, urging Netanyahu to step down over the charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, for which he is being tried.

Over the past weeks, however, the weekly rallies have been protesting the premier and his cabinet’s failure to sign a deal to enable the release of scores of captives, who are being held by the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

Hamas and its fellow Gaza-based resistance group of the Islamic Jihad ensnared the captives on October 7, 2023 during al-Aqsa Storm, a surprise operation against the occupied territories.

The regime responded with a war that has so far killed close to 30,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children.

Hamas says it refuses to release the 130 captives it still holds until complete cessation of the Israeli aggression. Netanyahu, however, insists on keeping up the war until achieving “victory”, including through, what he calls, ouster of Hamas from Gaza’s rule.

A poll conducted among Israelis recently showed that a majority of them believed that it was not possible for the Israeli regime to achieve “absolute victory” in the coastal territory.

Some 55.3 percent of the participants in the survey by the so-called “Israel Democracy Institute” think tank said there was a “fairly low” or “very low likelihood” of such an outcome.

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