Thousands rally in 1000-Plus Locations, calling on Netanyahu to resign

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Thousands rally in more than a 1000 locations throughout the occupied Palestinian territories, asking Israel’s politically-embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to step down for engaging in corrupt practices.

The protests began in Tel Aviv, the holy city of Jerusalem al-Quds, and numerous other spots on Saturday and continued on Sunday, Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper reported. In al-Quds, five marches converged on Netanyahu’s residence, including one that had begun from the whereabouts of Knesset (Israeli parliament). The latter protest march alone packed around 2,000 demonstrators. The police tried to stop one of the marches using roadblocks, but demonstrators “broke into a run and bypassed” the obstacles, the paper said. Seven people were arrested as the police were trying to handle the outpour of public anger. The occupied territories have witnessed regular demonstrations against the premier in defiance of a total ban on such rallies, purportedly introduced to contain the new coronavirus The rallies grew in size last year in the run-up to Netanyahu’s indictment for “receiving a bribe, fraud, and breach of trust” in four corruption cases, and began to gain further momentum afterwards.

Anti-Netanyahu demonstrators rally for 18th week

The indictment dealt such a blow to Netanyahu’s Likud that prevented the party from securing sufficient parliamentary approval for months on end. The crisis forced the party to eventually align itself with opposition politician Benny Gantz’s Blue and White alliance in an “emergency coalition” in April. Saturday’s rallies focused more on Case 3000, in which Netanyahu has been indicted for forcing purchase of nuclear-capable submarines from German firm ThyssenKrupp. Al-Quds protesters were seen carrying inflatable submarines that were inscribed with “3000” and “Corruption.” Back in 2016, Netanyahu authorized the purchase of three submarines from ThyssenKrupp even as the regime’s military strategists believed it was unnecessary and therefore did not mandate the purchases. Later, and despite a protest from the then-minister for military affairs, Moshe Ya’alon, Netanyahu planned to quietly sign a deal to buy the submarines. Ya’alon protested once again, and was reportedly forced to resign. The protesters denounced a Wednesday move by Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin of Likud to annul a vote to open a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the “submarine affair.”

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