Tens of thousands have rallied across the occupied Palestinian territories, keeping up weekly protests demanding the resignation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been charged with corruption.
The rallies took place on Saturday at hundreds of locations in defiance of the so-called emergency measures that the Israeli regime claims are meant to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, but protesters say are meant to curb the demonstrations, Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper reported.
Netanyahu is on trial for fraud, breach of trust, and accepting bribes for his role in a series of scandals.
The issue has earned him notoriety as “Crime Minister” and “Corrupt-yahu,” fueling massive protests, including in front of his residence in the holy occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds, for months on end.
Netanyahu has denied the charges and accused the protesters of being “leftists” and “anarchists.”
In Tel Aviv, hundreds converged on the Habima Square, shouting, “You messed with the wrong generation.”
Elsewhere, people formed human chains and carried black flags indicating the death of “democracy” that the Israeli regime claims champion of in the Middle East.
Police officers, meanwhile, forced their way among the protesters allegedly to enforce social-distancing. Four were arrested and dozens received fines.
In addition to singling out Netanyahu’s corrupt practices, the demonstrators were also raging at Tel Aviv’s mishandling of the pandemic that has so far killed 1,941 people throughout the occupied territories as well as the worst economic downturn in over 40 years.
Organizers of the “Crime Minister” protest said in a statement, “We will wear masks, we will keep our distance and we will proudly call for Corrupt-yahu’s resignation, and for him to account for the violence against protesters.”
“We will no longer cooperate with the dictatorial laws and limitations on the right to protest while Bibi (Netanyahu) and his ministers deride the rules,” it added, referring to some Israeli officials’ violating the very anti-virus regulations that they call on the people to observe.