Thousands of people demonstrate in Israel against Netanyahu39s government Politics

Thousands of people demonstrate in Israel against Netanyahu's government Politics

01/20/2024 8:48 pm (current 01/20/2024 8:48 pm)

Meeting in Jerusalem

Meeting in Jerusalem ©APA/AFP

Thousands of people demonstrated in Israel on Saturday against the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv, participants in a rally demanded an immediate end to the Gaza war in order to free more than 100 hostages held by Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip. “Stop fighting, pay the price!” said one of the speakers, whose cousin is among the hostages, according to the Israeli press.

After an initial exchange of 105 hostages for 240 Palestinian prisoners in late November, Hamas only wants to release the others it kidnapped when the Israeli military withdraws from the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu and his colleagues, however, claim that only the military defeat of Hamas can lead to the release of those kidnapped.

In the northern port city of Haifa, several hundred supporters of the leftist Chadash party demanded the resignation of the head of government on Saturday. Several hundred people also took to the streets in Jerusalem against Netanyahu's government.

Relatives of the hostages and supporters had already started a prolonged protest on Friday night in front of Netanyahu's home, in the coastal city of Caesarea, 50 kilometers north of Tel Aviv. “We hope that serious people (…) will come and give us real answers about how our loved ones are doing,” the news portal “” said, citing a hostage relative.

Hamas and other extremist organizations attacked southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and kidnapping around 250 hostages. Israel responded to the worst massacre in its history with massive airstrikes and a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. There are currently 136 hostages held in the coastal area. Israel believes that around 25 of them are no longer alive.