NUSADAILY.COM – JAKARTA – Thousands of Israelis again held a demonstration in front of the official residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Saturday (8/8) local time. This time on allegations of corruption and handling of the corona virus crisis.
“Your time is up,” read a sentence posted on a building at the protest site, as demonstrators waved Israeli flags and asked Netanyahu to resign for his failure to protect jobs and businesses affected by the pandemic.
The protest movement has risen in recent weeks, with critics accusing Netanyahu of being plagued by corruption cases against him. He denies any wrongdoing.
Netanyahu, who was sworn in for a fifth term in May after intense competition during the elections, accused the protesters of trampling on democracy and the Israeli media of driving strife.
Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party on Saturday called the protests “left-wing riots” and accused Channel 12, Israel’s popular television channel, of “doing everything it can to encourage left-wing demonstrations” of the prime minister’s opponents.
“Netanyahu is struggling to return the Israeli economy to normal. It is also trying to transfer funds and grants to Israelis, ”Likud said in a statement posted on Netanyahu’s Twitter page.
Israel’s Government Is Deemed Too Late in Providing Aid
The protests have spread outside Netanyahu’s official Jerusalem residence. Many Israelis gather at bridges and highway intersections across the country.
On a busy highway north of Israel’s commercial center in Tel Aviv, demonstrators waved black flags and shouted slogans while those in the cars honked their horns.
One protester, Yael, said he had lost his job at a Tel Aviv restaurant.
The government was late in distributing aid.
“You would think a once-in-a-lifetime crisis like this would push Netanyahu into action, and it doesn’t. Enough is enough, “he said. He refused to give his last name.
Israel in May partially lifted its lockdown rules, which have flattened the infection curve. However, the spike in both COVID-19 cases and subsequent restrictions have seen Netanyahu’s approval rating plunge below 30 percent.
Many restrictions have been lifted to revive business activity, but unemployment stands at 21.5 percent and the economy is expected to shrink by 6 percent in 2020. (lna)