Many blew horns and pounded on drums, while others hoisted Israeli flags. Scores of smaller demonstrations were held across the country, and organizers claimed some 260,000 people participated nationwide.
The protesters say Netanyahu must resign, calling him unfit to lead the country while he is on trial for corruption charges. They also say he has mishandled the virus crisis, which has sent unemployment soaring.
Netanyahu is on trial for fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes for his role in a series of scandals. He has denied the charges and said he is the victim of a conspiracy by overzealous police and prosecutors and a liberal media.
Israeli media reported several incidents of violence by far-right counter-demonstrators. In the northern city of Haifa, police said they arrested three people suspected of using pepper spray on demonstrators.
Earlier this year, Israel managed to contain the virus outbreak by sealing its borders and imposing a strict lockdown. But a quick reopening of the economy led to a rise in cases, forcing a second lockdown.
Health officials say the new restrictions have brought the infection rate down, and Israel is set to begin easing the lockdown on Sunday by reopening daycare centers and some businesses. A full reopening is expected to take several months.
Unemployment, including people on open-ended furloughs, has soared to nearly 25%, according to government figures. Many of the protesters include business owners, entrepreneurs and workers who lost their jobs.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.