Violent Clashes At Anti-Netanyahu Protest: “Fury that has not been there until now”
Police use force to disperse anti-Netanyahu protesters who tried to break through fences. Hundreds marched in the city center, blocked the light rail. 50 arrested
Thousands crowded last night (Tuesday) in the stormy demonstration of the “black flags” against Benjamin Netanyahu in front of the prime minister’s residence in Balfour St. in Jerusalem. Several hundred continued after the demonstration towards the center of Jerusalem where they confronted the police.
They blocked the light rail route, threw objects at police officers, and attacked journalists. Police used water cannons and officers mounted on horses charged demonstrators to disperse, removing hundreds by truck and arrested 50 of protesters.
Later, the demonstrators returned to the prime minister’s residence and set fire to bins in Paris Square. Eight of the detainees will be brought to the Jerusalem’s Court this morning, where the police will request an extension of the detention for some of them.
Police said hundreds violated the order in the city center, throwing stones, eggs, and objects at police forces, in addition to causing extensive damage and vandalism to property businesses. some pushing garbage dumpsters and chain-link fences into the streets as makeshift barricades. Several were set on fire.
During the riots, an undercover detective tried to stop one of the rioters. The crowd recognized the detective as an undercover cop and began attacking him in an attempt to disrupt the arrest. The detective, who was left alone, was wounded in the leg and after long moments was rescued by cavalry and YASAM police and evacuated from the area.
The district commander, Superintendent Doron Yedid, gave an order to disperse the violators. “Israel Police will allow a protest and freedom of expression, but will not allow harm to the public and property,” he said.
During the demonstration, journalist Avishai Ben-Haim of Channel 13 News was verbally assaulted by several protesters. Later, during the march and riots in the city center, Ben Haim and journalist Yossi Eli, also from Channel 13 News, were attacked several times by demonstrators – who also tried to snatch their microphone.
Among the protesters near Balfour st. were many young people. If in previous protests the average age was 60-50, this time one could see a lot of students and teenagers.
The demonstrators, some of whom lit torches and tried to break through the checkpoints during a confrontation with the police, waved Israeli flags and shouted “Bibi go home,” “Netanyahu’s Mafia” and “Our country is not Netanyahu’s.” Other protesters, on the other hand, called on them to stop the violence.
The commander of the Jerusalem police, who updated tonight that 50 people had been arrested or detained for questioning, told the cameras that “there was a demonstration by the left in front of the prime minister’s house.” Protesters responded immediately: “Not just the left. What nonsense, there were members of the Likud too, everyone was here.”
Uri Stein, a 27-year-old student, came from Rehovot to demonstrate, and at first, joked about the reason for his arrival: “You can’t go to clubs and bars. Everything is closed so I came here …”.
Then he added seriously: “I came because I think it’s important, protest is gaining momentum and it’s not just adults’. They say young people do not care, it’s not true. Here in the demonstration young people dictate the tone. It bothers me that this unity government is a regret, Netanyahu makes spins on Gantz. There is really no partnership, the corona is being exploited to pass laws reminiscent of Germany.”
Ariel Bernstein, 26, from Tel Aviv, also came to demonstrate: “The country is collapsing and we have a corrupt person who is leading it and leading it to the abyss.”
Efrat Safran, 37, from Ramat Hasharon, is one of the regular demonstrators. She tried to explain why the young people also came this time: “I was in a lot of demonstrations, I do not remember such this one. The rage, the energies – is new. Something is forming ahead of an explosion. Unequivocally, in the last two demonstrations in Rabin Square and here in Balfour”, she adds. “In recent years I have asked where they are? Why they do not come, democracy does not matter to them? Corruption does not bother them? I think today the economic component has taken them to the streets.”
Aviva, a 63-year-old who regularly took part in demonstrations in Goren Square in Petah Tikva and came to the demonstration in Jerusalem said: “The people woke up, the young people woke up.”
The musician Assaf Amdursky came to the demonstration and said: “We came to eradicate the lesion. We are tired of the corrupt. There are people here from all over the political spectrum, right-wing settlers, leftists, members of the ultra-Orthodox Ethiopian, Arab Center. ” One of the organizers of the demonstration is Yishai Hadas from the Crime Minister movement.
At the same time, another protest demonstration was held in Charles Clore Park in Tel Aviv to mark nine years of social protest. It was attended by about 400 people. Daphni Leef who initiated the protest in the summer of 2011 and also organized the current rally, said: “We are only at the beginning of a huge crisis, and it is clear that there is no leadership to expect solutions from it. We will create the power to bring solutions and change. ”
By Haim Goldich and Gilad Cohen and Yael Prednisone Ynet News