Thousands protest in Israel calling for Netanyahu to resign
Several thousand protesters in Tel Aviv have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing his government of not doing enough to bring home the hostages still held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The protest came on the eve of what will mark 100 days since the beginning of the Gaza war, triggered by the worst massacre in Israel’s history carried out by Hamas and other extremist groups on October 7.
They killed some 1,200 people in Israeli border communities near Gaza and abducted around 240 people into the Palestinian coastal area.
Israel responded by pounding Gaza with airstrikes and launching a ground offensive into the strip. During a ceasefire in November, 105 hostages were released in return for 240 Palestinian prisoners, but there have been few signs of hope since then for the families of those still being held.
Close to 24,000 Palestinians have been killed amid Israel’s campaign to eliminate Hamas from Gaza, according to the Hamas-controlled health authorities in the coastal area.
Netanyahu’s popularity plummeted following the October 7 massacres, with the Israeli public accusing him of having failed to sufficiently prepare the security forces for such an attack.
An attempt by Netanyahu, who leads a government coalition that includes ultra-religious and far-right parties, to push through a highly controversial judicial reform had sparked a wave of mass protests last year. The plans were struck down by the Supreme Court earlier this month.
People also took to the streets against Netanyahu in other Israeli cities on Saturday evening, with some 1,000 protesting in the coastal towns of Haifa and Caesarea, according to Israeli media reports.