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01 Aug 2020 | 03:24 PM UTC

Israel: Anti-government protests held in Jerusalem and other urban centers on August 1 /update 6

Anti-government protests take place in Jerusalem and other urban centers on August 1; further protests likely

security
ISR

Event

On Saturday, August 1, over 10,000 people gathered in Jerusalem's Paris Square to protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose residence is on nearby Balfour Street. As of 23:00 (local time), the crowd was reportedly moving from Paris Square towards Jerusalem's city center, on Keren HaYesod and King George streets. The demonstration is being held amid anger over the government's handling of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, as well as an ongoing trial over corruption allegations against the prime minister.

Further protests were reported nationwide on Saturday, with 2000 demonstrating outside Netanyahu's private residence in Caesarea, as well as hundreds gathering in Tel Aviv's Charles Clore Park. Security forces have reportedly been deployed in large numbers in urban centers throughout Israel. Past protests have resulted in clashes between protesters and pro-government groups, with security forces deploying water cannon to disperse crowds. Five individuals have so far been arrested on Saturday for harassing and throwing stones at protesters.

Continued protests and a heightened security presence are to be expected in Israel in the near term.

Context

Protests have been reported throughout Israel, particularly in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, in recent weeks over the government's handling of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Anger over the issue has been compounded by pre-existing anti-Netanyahu sentiment, with the prime minister facing three criminal cases over alleged corruption.

Advice

Individuals in Israel are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.

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