Demonstrations expressing opposition to former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly turned violent on Saturday afternoon, with several protesters injured by passersby.
The Independent Organization of Citizens Concerned for the Fate of Israel led about 100 groups in protests located throughout bridges and intersections from the north to the south of Israel.
In Hod Hasharon, a group of ATV riders stopped near one of the demonstrations on the Ramat Hadar bridge and began hitting protesters with helmets and fists, knocking some of the protesters to the floor. Following the incident, the Sharon Region police said they had opened an investigation into the incident.
The people of the Bridges and Intersections protest condemned the incident of violence, stating that "when Netanyahu's poison machine incites and normalizes [extremism], there is no wonder violence is rampant. Violence will not deter us. We are returning en masse to the bridges and intersections to make sure he does not return."
At 7:45 p.m. a march from the Rehovot train station to the founders' garden in the city, where a demonstration will be held, began, so far without incident.
"A government headed by [Netanyahu] will be a disaster for Israel," the Independent Organization of Citizens Concerned for the Fate of Israel said in a statement. "We are returning en masse to the bridges and intersections to make sure that Netanyahu does not return. We defeated him in the past, we will defeat him again."
"A government headed by [Netanyahu] will be a disaster for Israel."Bridge Protestors
Not the first time anti-Netanyahu protesters were attacked
At the beginning of the month, protesters from the "Crime Minister" group were attacked during a demonstration at Rishonim bridge in central Israel. Car passengers were seen stopping near the protesters, cursing them and throwing stones. Two members of the group were then evacuated from the scene to a hospital, lightly injured.
A day after the attack, the police arrested a father and son from Rishon Lezion who were suspected of committing the offenses, the two were tracked down by police after a report of an ATV whose passengers threw stones at a group of protesters.
Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev commented on the incident and said that "the ease with which these thugs allow themselves to throw stones at protesters, indicates the abyss to which the political discourse has deteriorated and is causing serious damage to democracy. This is a very serious incident. Stones can kill, and throwing them is an act of terrorism."