Covid-19: Hundreds of anti-Netanyahu protests held across Israel in defiance of lockdown

Dozens of people have been arrested after defying lockdown in mass protests across Israel in defiance of leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s lockdown.

Protesters clashed with police Saturday as hundreds of anti-government demonstrations were held across Israel under the banner “a kilometer it is,” referring to the government restriction passed last week that limited protesters to a one kilometer radius of their homes.

The Black Flag movement estimated that 130,000 people took part in Saturday’s protests against Netanyahu in cities and towns across the country.

This was against the country’s nationwide lockdown which was imposed for a second time a fortnight ago and came just three days after the Israeli government vetoed a new law which limits the amount of protests allowed.

The new law bans Israelis from holding demonstrations more than one kilometre (about half a mile) from their homes and forces stricter social distancing, a measure the government said was aimed at curbing COVID-19 infections.

Police and protesters were injured as the latter tried to block roads in and out of cities across the nation.

The people want Prime Minister Netanyahu to resign over his handling of the coronavirus and for other things he has been accused of.

Netanyahu is on trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. He has denied wrongdoing.

Israeli law does not force a prime minister to step down after being indicted, sparking outrage and protests at a time when the country also grappled with the pandemic.

As of Sunday, Israel has recorded more than 264,000 infections, out of which more than 191,000 have recovered, while the death toll has hit almost 1,700 out of a population of nine million.


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