Thousands of protesters have returned to the streets of Jerusalem to demand the resignation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over allegations of corruption and mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic.
Protesters were seen clashing with police late Saturday night and early Sunday outside the ailing Prime Minister’s residence, who had recently struck a landmark diplomatic deal with the United Arab Emirates.
News and social media images showed several protesters being dragged by police as anti-Netanyahu protests continued through week eight.
Some of the protesters also reportedly attempted to march towards the residence of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin but were stopped by police.
The Haaretz newspaper estimated that as many as 50,000 Israelis demonstrated across the country on Saturday.
Netanyahu called the protesters “leftists” and “anarchists” and accused local media of bolstering the protests by giving them wide coverage.
Israel’s prime minister was sworn in for a fifth term in May after reaching a coalition deal four months ago with centrist Benny Gantz, his main rival in three inconclusive elections since April 2019.
Netanyahu, who heads the right-wing Likud party, has often complained about press prejudices against him and some of the charges he faces in a corruption trial related to alleged attempts to gain favorable coverage of the media. share of media barons in exchange for state favors.
The prime minister has denied wrongdoing in the three corruption cases against him.
In recent days, Netanyahu has received a political boost after Israel announced a historic normalization of diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates.
But the prime minister continues to be criticized for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 92,000 people and killed more than 670 others.