Lapid slams government decision not to cancel Knesset recess in light of war

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

The fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition has refused to cancel the upcoming Knesset recess has confounded Israelis, Opposition Leader Yair Lapid tells The Times of Israel, as thousands of demonstrators gather outside the Knesset to call for new elections.

“I’m a politician but this is not a political demonstration. These are just worried Israelis who do not understand how come this building over there is going on recess during such a hectic time when there is no recess for the hostages,” he says, waving his arm toward the nearby parliament building.

“We have no recess for the people who are fighting in Gaza. Why should the Knesset go on vacation at times like this? So the whole thing together is to try to influence the government and the Knesset to behave like human beings in times like these,” he says.

Brought from all over the country by a coalition of anti-government protest movements, including Kaplan Force and Brothers in Arms, the demonstrators are calling for Netanyahu and his government to resign, for Israel to hold early elections, and for the country’s leaders to agree to a hostage deal that will bring about the release of the 130 captives held in Gaza since October 7.

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