The main demonstration opening the 20th week of protests against the government's judicial reform legislation on Kaplan Street, Tel Aviv drew 135,000 people, according to protest organizers.
The lineup of speakers who addressed the protestors on Kaplan Street included prominent hi-tech entrepreneur and former budget department head at the Finance Ministry Shaul Meridor, acclaimed author Sefi Rachlevsky and Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv, Meital Lehavi.
Demonstrations were held across Israel on Saturday evening, including in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, and Beersheba as well as some additional 150 locations across the country.
Protests across Israel
The evening was opened by demonstrations in Rehovot and Herzliya, which started some two hours before the end of Shabbat.
"Jerusalem Day is a celebration for the unification of our eternal capital. That's why we decided in the Sharon [area] to commemorate the day with a flag parade, celebrating the Israeli union between the Jewish and the democratic. And in this unity lies our strength," explained Dana Oren Yannai, one of the organizers of the Herzliya protest, which was attended by hundreds.
Protests in Haifa began in Merkaz HaCarmel, with thousands marching down HaNasi Boulevard toward Horev junction.
Around a thousand protesters gathered at Karkur junction and blocked the road there. One of the protesters was hit by a car in the commotion that developed on the road, Walla reported.
A demonstration in Beersheba drew hundreds of protesters against the government while in the Arava, dozens of people demonstrated at the Ein Yahav junction on Highway 90.
Protest leaders' statements
Earlier on Saturday, protest organizers released several statements regarding the main focus of this week's demonstrations.
“The government’s plan to plunder the public treasury in favor of political corruption, rather than investing in the welfare of citizens, is a decisive step towards transforming Israel into a dictatorial regime," they wrote. "This act is parallel to Hungary and Poland where public funds are constantly misappropriated to the regime.
"Netanyahu continues to waste time through deceptive negotiations while he gives 14 billion dollars of taxpayers' money to his political allies," they continued. "These corrupt actions serve as a means to facilitate the implementation of dictatorial laws.
“The negotiations allow Netanyahu to continue weakening the foundations of democracy. We call upon opposition leader Lapid and MK Gantz to withdraw from these deceptive negotiations immediately."