Middle East

Thousands of Israelis protest Netanyahu gov't, demand prisoner swap with Hamas

Demonstration outside parliament in Jerusalem calls for toppling of current administration, early elections

Abdelraouf Arnaout  | 18.06.2024 - Update : 18.06.2024
Thousands of Israelis protest Netanyahu gov't, demand prisoner swap with Hamas


Tens of thousands of Israelis gathered in the streets near Israel's parliament in Jerusalem late Monday to protest the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and demand early elections and a prisoner swap with Hamas.

The protesters filled the nearby streets, carrying Israeli flags and photos of Israeli prisoners held in Gaza. Some signs depicted Netanyahu with a red “X” and the text “Evil Demon” in Hebrew and English.

Demonstrators chanted slogans like “Bring down the deceptive government,” “Elections now,” “Traitors” and “Shame,” according to Anadolu’s monitoring of Israeli media outlets which live-streamed the protest.

Monday's demonstration was part of the “Week of Resistance” activities organized by the Brothers of Arms, a group of former Israeli soldiers.

The protests began on the previous Saturday and are scheduled to continue through Thursday.

They are being staged amid political tensions in Israel and calls for a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls the Gaza Strip.

Flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by Hamas.

More than 37,300 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and over 85,000 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered it to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

*Writing by Mohammad Sio

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