‘israel’ is collapsing: Anti-Natanyahu protesters
Thousands of protesters gather in a northern Israeli city for a 38th consecutive week, united in their cause to protest against Prime Minister Netanyahu, whom they accuse of unforgivable corruption.
Widely referred to as Bibi, Netanyahu is the subject of two high-profile graft cases. In Case 1000, he is suspected of having received gifts from businessmen overseas.
He is also being investigated in Case 2000 for an alleged media bribery scheme to help Yediot Aharonot newspaper against its competitor Yisrael Hayom in return for favorable coverage.
The rallies were held in the city of Petah Tikva outside the house of Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit late Saturday.
The demonstrators chanted Israel “is collapsing,” and some held up placards reading, “Bibi resign.”
They also condemned Mandelblit’s alleged conduct during his questioning of Netanyahu over corruption-related allegations. They accused him of receiving monetary gifts from a number of businessmen, which may have affected the investigation process, shouting, “Both an investigator and a friend.”
No more than roughly 350 pro-Netanyahu demonstrators also turned up at the site, led by members of Knesset (Israeli Parliament) David Bitan and Nava Boker.
Both groups vowed to repeat the rallies next week.
Late last month, Netanyahu’s predecessor Ehud Barak said the current premier had sparked recent tensions at the al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound in Tel Aviv-occupied in East Jerusalem al-Quds in a bid to distract public attention from the investigations.
Netanyahu “is ready to set … the region on fire in order to save himself from his fear of criminal investigations,” Barak said.
The tensions erupted after a deadly shootout on July 14 outside the compound, known as Haram al-Sharif, which Jews call Temple Mount. Using the gunfight as a pretext, Israel first closed the compound for three days, and then set up metal detectors and surveillance cameras at entrances to the compound, outraging Palestinians and Muslims around the world.