According to the report, some 15,000 people attended the demonstration near Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in the capital’s Rechavia neighborhood, while thousands more held rallies in Tel Aviv, Caesarea and other population centers around the country for the sixth week in a row.
The protests center mainly on public discontent with the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, though many participants who belong to the left-wing “black flag” movement are joined by others waving banners calling on Netanyahu to resign for a host of reasons, among them the fact that he is on trial for charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
At the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu spoke out against the behavior of unruly anti-government demonstrators and pro-government counter-demonstrators.
“I condemn any violence,” he declared. “It has no place on either side, and we have zero tolerance for any manifestation of violence or any threat of violence.”
Netanyahu also slammed what he called “an attempt to trample on democracy,” lambasting many of the demonstrators for flouting the Health Ministry’s COVID-19 guidelines for public gatherings.
Stressing that the demonstrations are not being prevented or even restricted, he warned, “It’s a coronavirus incubator.”