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Amid latest protests, anti-PM groups say violence against them now ‘routine’

Demonstrators gather in dozens of locations around country for Saturday rallies; woman assaulted and lightly hurt in north

Protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Herzliya on March 6, 2021 (video screenshot)
Protests against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Herzliya on March 6, 2021 (video screenshot)

Demonstrators demanding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation held protests in dozens of locations around the country Saturday, the 37th week of Saturday evening rallies against the premier over his indictment on graft charges and handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Protests were to take place outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem and Netanyahu’s private home in the coastal city of Caesaria. A rally was also expected in Hadera, near where Netanyahu was set to hold a campaign event.

In Yavne’el, near the Sea of Galilee, a female protester was assaulted by a young man and lightly injured. Other young men scuffled with demonstrators. Police were investigating.

The Black Flags protest movement said violence against demonstrators had become “routine.”

“The accused and his supporters will stop at nothing to harm the protest,” the organization, one of several leading the regular rallies, said in a statement. “Cyber activity, physical violence and incitement from within Likud’s campaign cars have all become routine.”

Demonstrators have been holding regular protests for months against Netanyahu, demanding he resign over his trial on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.

They have also criticized his government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Netanyahu denies wrongdoing and claims the indictments are part of an effort by political rivals, the media, police, and prosecutors to remove him from office.

Israel is preparing to hold new elections on March 23.

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