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2 arrested after man waves gun, apparently a toy, at anti-Netanyahu protesters

Police say two brothers from West Bank city of Ariel held in connection with Saturday evening incident in Herzliya

Man brandishes what appears to be a weapon at demonstrators protesting against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Herzliya, August 29, 2020 (Screen grab/Channel 12 news)
Man brandishes what appears to be a weapon at demonstrators protesting against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Herzliya, August 29, 2020 (Screen grab/Channel 12 news)

Two men have been arrested after one of them allegedly brandished what appeared to be a gun at demonstrators protesting against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Herzliya, police said Sunday.

Protesters said a man waved what appeared to be a pistol as he drove by them at a junction in the central city on Saturday evening, in an incident caught on video.

Police said they arrested the man and his brother, residents of the West Bank city of Ariel in their early 20s, and seized a plastic gun that was in the possession of the main suspect.

Police said that although a complaint had not been filed, they opened an investigation which led to the arrest.

Thousands of Israelis took part in nationwide protests against Netanyahu on Saturday evening, with the largest gathering taking place in Jerusalem where demonstrators have staged weekly rallies across from the premier’s residence.

Ahead of the main rallies, smaller protests have been held at bridges and highway overpasses across the country where some protesters say they have been sprayed with tear gas and pepper spray by right-wing demonstrators in the past.

Protesters have accused Netanyahu of inciting against them, saying this has led to the incidents of violence.

Saturday marked the 11th consecutive week in which demonstrators turned out to voice opposition to Netanyahu, specifically his indictment on corruption charges and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Israelis protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on August 29, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Media reports indicated some 20,000 people took part in the demonstration in Jerusalem. Organizers, citing bracelets they hand out to to all participants, put attendance at 37,000.

Protests ended largely peacefully, in stark contrast to last week’s events that saw many violent incidents and claims of police brutality by participants. Police officials said protesters obeyed instructions and stopped making noise at 11 p.m., so they did not have to use force.

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