Protest leader Stav Shaffir on Sunday denounced protester violence, but accused the government of trying to delegitimize the social protest movement.

"We are opposed to all expression of violence and destruction of property," Shaffir said in a statement. "The government, and its leader, are trying to delegitimize the largest social protest in Israel's history."

Saying that the government wants to silence criticism, Shaffir added, "The events of last night prove that the public does not buy these lies and it is determined to struggle toward the future of Israeli society, and the right to organize in the public sphere."

Violent protests in Tel Aviv led to the arrest of 85 protesters Saturday night.

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