Anti-Netanyahu protesters to block airport ahead of PM's flight to US

"While we are on lockdown, he wants to fly abroad with his wife and kids."

Demonstrators protest the government's mismanagement of the fight against COVID-19 and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in front of his Jerusalem residence, Aug. 29, 2020. (photo credit: MOSTAFA ALKHAROUF/ANADOLU AGENCY VIA GETTY IMAGES)
Demonstrators protest the government's mismanagement of the fight against COVID-19 and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in front of his Jerusalem residence, Aug. 29, 2020.
(photo credit: MOSTAFA ALKHAROUF/ANADOLU AGENCY VIA GETTY IMAGES)
Anti-government protesters are planning to block the entrance to Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's departure to the US, the protest movement said Saturday afternoon.
Netanyahu is expected to fly to America to sign the peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates next week. A nationwide lockdown is also expected to be imposed next week amid rising coronavirus infections.
"Netanyahu wants to put the state on lockdown due to [his] disgraceful and failed management of the coronavirus crisis," the protest movement said in a press release. "While we are on lockdown, he wants to fly abroad with his wife and kids."
According to the protest movement, "Netanyahu will sign an agreement that has not been read and that violates Israel's strategic superiority without the approval of the Knesset and the Cabinet."
Amid talks between Israel and the UAE, the latter will purchase F-35 fighter jets from the US. Netanyahu has initially publicly denied agreeing to the sale as part of the peace deal. Last week, officials familiar with the negotiations told The New York Times that the prime minister condoned the sale.
According to the protest movement, demonstrators will gather on roads leading to the international airport from the prime minister's residence on Jerusalem's Balfour Street.
"We will not let that flight go unheard. Come with flags, signs and a warrior's spirit, and let's show him we have a redline," the movement said.
"A brief moment before the lockdown, instead of dealing with the catastrophe he caused, Netanyahu is fleeing to four days of campaigning in the United States," the protest's organizers said.
"While we are struggling to understand the instructions and are being crushed by the ever-worsening crisis, he will be enjoying cocktails. A real leader would have stayed to protect and support his people, but Netanyahu is busy looking for a private jet for him, his wife and his instigator son."
According to the organizers, "Israel has wonderful citizens who deserve a leadership that cares about them and not luxury flights and tax exemptions. Go, Bibi - and don't come back."
Parallel to the protest in Israel, Israelis living in various cities through the US are also planning to gather in Washington to protest against Netanyahu as he signs the deal.
"We are coming together from all over the United States and the world to reiterate that a prime minister charged with a crime cannot continue in office," a release from the protesters read.

Celia Jean contributed to this report.


Tags protests F-35