Saturday, March 2, 2024

Israeli protesters demand resignation of Netanyahu government, return of captives from Gaza

Thousands of Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv and Haifa to demand the dismissal of the government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the holding of early elections and a hostage swap agreement with Gaza-based Hamas.

Channel 12 reported that thousands protested in Habima Square in central Tel Aviv against the government and demanded early elections.

The official Israeli broadcasting authority noted “a massive demonstration in Tel Aviv demanding the government to reach a deal for the return of all the hostages, and other two protests in front of Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem”.

The Yedioth Ahronoth daily newspaper said that “about 3,000 Israelis demonstrated at the Horev junction in the city of Haifa, demanding an immediate change of government, with protesters holding banners that read: Elections now.”

It is expected that the pace of protests against the government will increase later Saturday across the country, especially in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

On Oct. 7, Hamas attacked Israeli settlements near the Gaza Strip, resulting in the death of 1,200 Israelis, injury to 5,500 and the capture of at least 250 hostages.

On November 24, Qatar mediated a deal between Israel and Hamas on a temporary truce and the exchange of some of the prisoners and hostages, as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. The ceasefire was extended several times and expired on December 1.

Israel estimates the presence of “137 hostages still held in the Gaza Strip”, according to media reports and statements from Israeli officials.

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