ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Relatives of Oct. 7 murdered and abducted hold rally demanding Netanyahu’s ouster

David Horovitz is the founding editor of The Times of Israel. He is the author of "Still Life with Bombers" (2004) and "A Little Too Close to God" (2000), and co-author of "Shalom Friend: The Life and Legacy of Yitzhak Rabin" (1996). He previously edited The Jerusalem Post (2004-2011) and The Jerusalem Report (1998-2004).

Ronni Neeman, whose niece was murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7, speaks at a rally calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, December 8, 2023 (Times of Israel)
Ronni Neeman, whose niece was murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7, speaks at a rally calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, December 8, 2023 (Times of Israel)

Some 200-300 people gather next to a tent set up beneath the Knesset, by some of the families of those killed and taken hostage on October 7, for a protest event demanding that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resign.

The crowd is given more details of an alleged attempt overnight to set fire to the tent, where several members of the families have been sleeping. The police and other authorities are investigating, the event organizers say, stressing that the tent was erected with all the necessary approvals from the electricity company.

The tent is emblazoned with a banner reading, “Families of the murdered for the ouster of Netanyahu.”

Speaking to a crowd where many are wearing T-shirts demanding that Netanyahu be immediately ousted from power, Ronni Neeman, whose niece Rotem was murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova music festival on October 7, calls on the entire government to step down.

“How can it be that the prime minister under whose watch the most Israelis were murdered and taken hostage has not resigned?” Neeman asks, accusing Netanyahu of “continuing to spread division” among Israelis.

He implores “five MKs” from the pre-war Netanyahu-led coalition to back a vote of so-called “constructive no confidence” to enable the establishment of a new government within 24 hours and elections once the war is over. Just five MKs are needed, he says, “to say, ‘We can’t anymore’.”

Saying he is “ashamed to say” that he was once a member of Netanyahu’s Likud, Neeman denounces Likud members who earlier this week, he says, “incited against the IDF.” Addressing the entire coalition, he declares: “The only thing you can do that is worthwhile is step down. Allow the public not to see you anymore.”

Neeman also claims that Netanyahu is capable of keeping IDF forces deployed in Gaza for longer than absolutely necessary, “because he knows that when the war is over, he’ll be ousted.”

Damage from alleged arson at a tent where families of Israelis killed and taken hostage on October 7 have been sleeping, near the Knesset, December 8, 2023 (Times of Israel)

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