Thousands Call for Netanyahu's Removal Across Israel

Allison Kaplan SommerBar Peleg / The Intercept
Thousands Call for Netanyahu's Removal Across Israel View of the headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces in Tel Aviv in 2018. (Photo: Getty)

Crowds in Tel Aviv and near Netanyahu's home in Caesarea demanded that the prime minister be removed from office immediately. Also on Saturday, a rally was held in Tel Aviv to call for the release of all Israeli hostages still held by Hamas

Thousands rallied across Israel on Saturday night, calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ousting amidst Israel's war with Hamas in Gaza.

Crowds gathered in Tel Aviv to rally against Netanyahu, while others protested outside the premier's private residence in the northern city of Caesarea.

Maj. Gen. (res.) Guy Zur said at the Tel Aviv protest, "I asked myself, 'Why protest now? During a time of war, while our soldiers are united at the front?' To me, the answer is simple: It is our duty towards the next generations, because he who weakened us and sacrificed us for his political needs and love of power, is not suited to lead us to victory."

Zur added, "Netanyahu and his people are unethical, have no authority or capability, and even now during the war they continue to fuel conflict with their 'poison machine.'"

In Caesarea, the protesters held signs with a bloody handprint and the word "Guilty." They beat drums and chanted for Netanyahu to "be removed now."

According to the protesters, they were forbidden by the police to erect a stage for the Caesarea demonstration, and a protester who attempted to do so was arrested.

Orly Itzhak, director-general of the kibbutz of Manara, near the Lebanon border, said: "We in the north are strong, and we will rebuild and thrive again. But in order for this to happen, this regime has got to go."

Eyal Yafeh, a Yom Kippur War veteran, said: "We are the Yom Kippur fighters who faced the blunder of 1973, and we will fight for our country to recover from the blunder of 2023."

Earlier on Saturday, police arrested two protesters outside Netanyahu's Caesarea home for shouting with megaphones, which were confiscated by police.

One of the arrested protesters is Israel Air Force Brig. Gen. (ret.) Amir Haskel, who has been active in anti-Netanyahu protests for years.

According to witnesses, the two protesters had not broken the law and had been standing in a public area, during hours when noise at a reasonable level was allowed. Three other protesters were summoned for questioning, and had their megaphones confiscated.

Also on Saturday, a rally was held in Tel Aviv to call for the release of all Israeli hostages still held by Hamas. Former U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross, who was the Middle East coordinator under President Bill Clinton and one of the Oslo Peace process architects, addressed the crowd.

"These [hostages] are not faceless people, they are real people with a face and a soul, they are connected to their families. And their families' life has frozen on October 7. We are – I am, and you are – here tonight to say to them that they are not alone," Ross said.

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