Pro- and anti-Netanyahu rallies begin outside court, PM’s house

Some 500 protesters have so far gathered in Jerusalem at two opposing protests ahead of the opening of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s criminal trial this afternoon.

Outside the Jerusalem District Court, where the opening hearing will begin at 3 p.m., pro-Netanyahu demonstrators are protesting against the judicial system that brought him to the defendant’s bench.

“Dreyfus Trial: Mandelblit Style,” reads one placard, referring to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit who filed the indictments against Netanyahu.

“Resign, Mandelblit,” read others.

Organizers of the pro-Netanyahu rally say that 50 buses are on their way to Jerusalem.

Outside the prime minister’s house on Balfour Street, anti-Netanyahu protesters are calling for him to resign in light of the criminal allegations of bribery, fraud and breach of trust being presented in court today.

They have spread the 50-foot “Crime Minister” banner that has been seen at many previous anti-Netanyahu rallies.

Both protests, however, are also facing rival protesters from the other side who have gathered at the opposing sites.

Police say they have closed several streets around both the court and the prime minister’s house and are making every effort “to allow freedom of expression for all sides.”

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