Thousands Protest Netanyahu,Shun Rules 09/21 06:08
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Thousands of Israelis resumed their weekly protest Sunday
outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official residence in central
Jerusalem, despite a new nationwide lockdown order aimed at curbing a raging
An exception allowing people to hold public demonstrations was included in
the three-week lockdown imposed last Friday. But many participants in the
gathering appeared to ignore social-distancing rules that order them to remain
in small separated "capsules" of people.
Thousands of Israelis have participated in the protests throughout the
summer, calling on Netanyahu to resign while he is on trial for corruption
charges and accusing him of bungling the country's coronavirus crisis.
In the ultra-Orthodox town of Bnei Brak near Israel's commercial hub of Tel
Aviv, over 100 activists took to the streets and burned garbage to protest
restrictions on gatherings for public prayers.
The demonstrations restarted hours after the end of the Jewish new year
holiday, Rosh Hashana. Netanyahu's government imposed the new lockdown just
hours before the holiday began.
Israel's first lockdown, in March and April, put a damper on Passover, the
Jewish spring holiday marking the deliverance of the ancient Hebrews from
slavery in Egypt.
Netanyahu is charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in
three separate cases. His criminal trial began in June, but he has refused to
step down from office and denies any wrongdoing.
After moving quickly to contain an outbreak last spring, Israel appears to
have reopened its economy too quickly. The country now has one of the highest
per-capita rates of coronavirus in the world, and critics say the new lockdown
measures will hurt an already struggling economy.
Israel has recorded more than 180,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more
than 1,200 deaths.