After three hours, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara Netanyahu, was evacuated from a hair salon in Tel Aviv, according to Hebrew media.
Security forces rescued Netanyahu from the salon where hundreds of thousands of protesters stood blocking the exit, preventing her from leaving.
Security forces acted as if she was still inside as they evacuated her to a vehicle and drove away from the scene. The forces didn't leave until notified the vehicle managed to get away.
National Unity Party head Benny Gantz called on the protesters in front of the salon to allow Netanyahu to go home.
"I call on the protesters in Madinah Square - let the Prime Minister's wife return to her home and you continue to wave the flags and voice our righteous cry," he wrote on Twitter. "We will continue to act together, in a variety of legal ways, to stop the coup d'état."
אני קורא למפגינים בכיכר המדינה - תנו לאשת רה״מ לחזור לביתה ואתם המשיכו להניף את הדגלים ולהשמיע את זעקתנו הצודקת.— בני גנץ - Benny Gantz (@gantzbe) March 1, 2023
נמשיך לפעול ביחד, במגוון דרכים חוקיות כדי לעצור את ההפיכה המשטרית.
Go to the full article >>
Opposition leader Yair Lapid is generating anarchy in an attempt to bring down the government, something which has to stop, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday in response to the demonstrators who were blocking a Tel Aviv highway.
“I understand that there is someone here who is attempting to generate anarchy, he is called Yair Lapid,” Netanyahu said as he referred to his predecessor.
“He says it clearly,” stated Netanyahu adding that Lapid wants to “create a governmental crisis, I would say a constitutional crisis because through this he intends to reach new elections.”
Lapid prefers this path rather than sitting down and discussing the judicial reform with the coalition, Netanyahu said.
People do not have to follow his lead, including those who oppose the judicial reform, Netanyahu said.
In referring to the violence that broke out at some of the country-wide protests Netanyahu said, “it's forbidden to strike police officers, it’s forbidden to bring the country to a standstill by blocking roads.”
In the past, he said, Israel acted with a firm hand against right-wing demonstrators. “It doesn't matter which side” of the political map demonstrators fall on, “the law must be respected.”
Netanyahu added, “we can’t afford to descend into anarchy” particularly given the number of important tasks that need to be executed”, particularly with respect to the country’s security and future.
Lapid tweeted in response, “Netanyahu the only anarchy that is being generated is by the government over whom you have lost control. Bibi, anyone who allows National Security Minister to play with explosives knows it will end with an explosion.”
As he stood at one of the protest sites, he said, he had left the Knesset and headed to the streets because if “there is a struggle between the government and the people of Israel we are on the side of the people of Israel.
“I call on the police to ignore the dangerous and irresponsible political attempt by Ben Gvir to try to inflame the atmosphere and cause more violence and anarchy.
The demonstrators are “Israeli patriots” who love the country and want to defend it, Lapid said adding that the protest was a battle for the image of Israeli democracy.
“We will continue to fight until we win,” he added.Go to the full article >>
Israel Police commissioner Kobi Shabtai led a situational assessment with senior police officials on Wednesday evening, amid escalating anti-government protests across Israel.
"Israel Police sees the right to protest as a cornerstone of a democratic state but we will not allow public disorder, nor will we allow any damage to be done to state symbols and property," Shabtai said following the assessment.
Shabtai called on protestors to refrain from using provocation and violence against police officers and reaffirmed that police will only use force in response to violence against police, or if danger is posed to Israeli citizens and public order.Go to the full article >>
"We left the Knesset and came here today because if there is a battle between the government and the people, we are on the side of the people of Israel," said opposition leader Yair Lapid from the protest. "I call on the police to ignore the dangerous and irresponsible political attempt of Minister [Itamar] Ben-Gvir to try and heat the spirits and try to cause more violence and anarchy.
"The protestors here behind us are Israeli patriots and people who love the State of Israel. They protect the State of Israel, this is a battle for the image of Israeli democracy. We will continue to fight until we win."
Israel Police arrested 39 protestors, the police announced in an update about the protest in Tel Aviv.
Eleven protestors in Tel Aviv were taken to the emergency room in Ichilov Medical Center on Wednesday, the hospital announced.
The protestors arrived sporting bruises, cuts, burns and other injuries. One of them was taken in for emergency surgery, and the others were admitted to the emergency room.
Following the police dispersal of protesters on Ayalon Highway, in which several protesters were injured by police stun grenades, Opposition leader Yair Lapid and Labor Party leader Merav Michaeli informed the press that they had left the Knesset in order to join the protests.
Israel Police officers threw stun grenades into a crowd of protesters on Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv early on Wednesday afternoon in an effort to disperse the protests and clear the highway.
A source present at the protests told the Jerusalem Post that one of the protesters was injured after a stun grenade hit him on the side of his head. According to the source, he was evacuated from the scene for medical treatment, and there is a concern that he may have lost his ear.
Protest organizers criticized the police dispersal methods, calling the system morally bankrupt and accused them of becoming "a political police force."
"The commissioner should fire those responsible for the failure today," the statement read. "Throwing grenades and trampling protesters for democracy with horses is crossing the black line. Shame on the state of Israel."Go to the full article >>
As people crowd into the streets to protest against the judicial reform bill, the century-old adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" certainly rings true.
Take a look at just a few of the photos from the protests sweeping the country on Wednesday's national day of disruption.
Even as the streets fill with demonstrators holding megaphones and waving Israeli flags, others continue to go about their day as normal.
In Tel Aviv, buses try to make it to their destinations on time and street vendors tempt protest-goers with fresh bagels.
Students from university campuses across the country joined the "national day of disruption" on Wednesday morning, as they demonstrated and blocked traffic from passing in various parts of the country.
Three students were arrested by Israel Police officers while protesting.
"It seems that selective enforcement is leading the police, 20 people arrested [in Tel Aviv] over the weekend and six arrested following riots in Hawara," said the student protesters in a statement.
"Today we are disrupting the country, until the dangerous gallop towards a coup d'état stops!"