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Thousands Of Israelis Protest For Release Of Hostages And Ouster Of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Even prior to the war in Gaza, Netanyahu faced months of street protests over controversial judicial reforms. However, the recent Hamas attack on October 7, in which approximately 250 hostages were seized, has further intensified the public's discontent with the Prime Minister.

On Sunday, thousands of Israelis took to the streets of Jerusalem for the second consecutive night of mass protests, demanding increased efforts to free the hostages held in Gaza and the removal of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The demonstrators first gathered in front of the Israeli parliament, lighting fires and waving Israeli flags. Later, they blocked a main city highway, causing disruption and chaos.

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The protesters, growing in number and determination, shouted that Netanyahu “must go” and expressed their frustration with his right-wing government. Families of the hostages held in Gaza have joined the protests, vowing to take to the streets every night this week until their loved ones are brought home.

Growing Pressure on Netanyahu

Pressure has been mounting on Netanyahu as opposition to his government and the plight of the hostages’ families unite in a common cause. The protests in Jerusalem are said to be the largest since the outbreak of the war in Gaza in October.

Protesters in Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city, also took to the streets on Saturday in two separate demonstrations. They blocked the city’s main motorway for nearly two hours, causing significant disruption. Others picketed Netanyahu’s Jerusalem home, chanting slogans and demanding his resignation.

Dana Rabfogel Shor, an art therapist from Tel Aviv who participated in both nights of protests, expressed the growing anger towards Netanyahu and his government. She stated, “People are raging, they are tired, they want elections. They blame Bibi (Netanyahu) and the government, which says it is not responsible for anything.” Shor held a placard with a picture of her distant cousin Itay Svirsky, who was killed in the Hamas attack on October 7.

Many protesters carried placards depicting Netanyahu’s face covered in blood, accusing him of failing to protect the country from Hamas. Signs held by the protesters read, “You’re the boss, you’re to blame” and “Elections now!”

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The Hamas Attack and its Aftermath

Even prior to the war in Gaza, Netanyahu faced months of street protests over controversial judicial reforms. However, the recent Hamas attack on October 7, in which approximately 250 hostages were seized, has further intensified the public’s discontent with the Prime Minister.

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Israel believes that 130 hostages, including 33 presumed dead, remain in Gaza. The country has been traumatized by the unprecedented attack, resulting in around 1,160 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians. In response, Israel launched a retaliatory campaign that has claimed the lives of at least 32,782 people in Gaza, primarily women and children.

The ongoing protests in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv reflect the deep-seated frustration and anger among Israelis over the government’s handling of the hostage situation and its overall leadership. The demand for increased efforts to free the hostages and a change in leadership continues to resonate with the thousands of protesters taking to the streets night after night.

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Elize Coetzee for SurgeZirc SA
Elize Coetzee for SurgeZirc SAhttps://new.surgezirc.co.za
Elize Coetzee, a seasoned journalist, is the driving force behind SurgeZirc SA’s world news and world politics coverage. With an unwavering commitment to truth, Elize delves into global affairs, providing live updates, in-depth investigations, and thought-provoking analysis. Whether it’s geopolitical tensions, international diplomacy, or breaking stories, Elize’s incisive reporting keeps readers informed and engaged.
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