Police officer injured, five protesters arrested in Jerusalem protests

Protesters in Tel Aviv scattered notes displaying numbers throughout Habima Square, meant to symbolize the people who have so far succumbed to COVID-19.

Notes scattered throughout Habima Square in Tel Aviv by protesters, symbolizing the 4,600 victims of the coronavirus in Israel, Saturday, January 30, 2021. (photo credit: SASSONI AVSHALOM)
Notes scattered throughout Habima Square in Tel Aviv by protesters, symbolizing the 4,600 victims of the coronavirus in Israel, Saturday, January 30, 2021.
(photo credit: SASSONI AVSHALOM)
Protesters calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign gathered on bridges and junctions across the country on Saturday afternoon for the 32nd consecutive week, with a march to Balfour street taking place in Jerusalem, an art exhibition dedicated to the Israeli victims of COVID-19 in Tel Aviv, and a protest attended by hundreds near Netanyahu's residence in Herzliya.  
Anti-Netanyahu protesters at Yanay Junction, Saturday, January 30, 2021. (Credit: Black Flags Movement)Anti-Netanyahu protesters at Yanay Junction, Saturday, January 30, 2021. (Credit: Black Flags Movement)
In Jerusalem, protests will be organized by the Crime Minister and Kumi Israel (which translates to "Rise Israel") Movements. A march left the String Bridge at 6:30 p.m. and made its way toward the Prime Minister's Official Residence on Balfour street, demanding that an inquiry committee be established to investigate the government's conduct during the coronavirus pandemic, and protesting the decision to archive coronavirus cabinet protocols for 30 years. 
"At the peak of a medical and financial catastrophe, the defendant is taking the country as hostage in order to delay his trial and is caving in to the haredim (ultra-Orthodox community in Israel), his 'natural partners'. Instead of managing the crisis he extends the lockdown and presents a 'financial plan' with the sole purpose of bribing voters," a statement by Crime Minister read. 
Several violent incidents were reported between protesters and police officers during the march to the Prime Minister's Official Residence on Balfour street in Jerusalem. "While marching near the Presidential residence, protesters began violating the public order while attempting to breach a police barricade and throwing items at police officers on the scene," a police statement read. 
Consequently, a police officer reportedly suffered a light injury to his face and two protester was arrested and taking in for questioning. Another individual, suspected of being intoxicated and carrying an illegal substance was arrested as well, police reported.  
It was also reported that police used water cannon vehicles against protesters on Balfour street, after having stopped using them in recent months.
As the evening progressed, police reportedly handed out hundreds of fines for protesters on Balfour street. 
A protester against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Habima Square in Tel Aviv, Saturday, January 30, 2021. (Credit: Sasoni Avshalom)A protester against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Habima Square in Tel Aviv, Saturday, January 30, 2021. (Credit: Sasoni Avshalom)
In Tel Aviv, the Black Flags Movement will lead at 7:30 p.m. a "pain protest" at Habima Square against what they see as a serious failure by the government to properly manage the coronavirus pandemic in Israel, leading to many unnecessary victims.
Protesters in Tel Aviv scattered notes displaying numbers throughout Habima Square, meant to symbolize the people who have so far succumbed to COVID-19. 
Notes scattered throughout Habima Square in Tel Aviv by protesters, symbolizing the 4,600 victims of the coronavirus in Israel, Saturday, January 30, 2021. (Credit: Sassoni Avshalom)Notes scattered throughout Habima Square in Tel Aviv by protesters, symbolizing the 4,600 victims of the coronavirus in Israel, Saturday, January 30, 2021. (Credit: Sassoni Avshalom)
"On Saturday, we'll stand together at Habima Square in Tel Aviv, to show everyone what 4,600 people actually means. Over 4,600 deaths - who's responsible?," a statement by the Black Flags Movement read.  
"While the criminal defendant is running campaigns claiming that 'we've beaten the coronavirus,' hospital departments are collapsing. He is bribing voters, while the country hasn't had a budget for two years. He presents a financial plan, while hundreds of thousands of people are losing their livelihoods," the statement added, noting that "it's all due to the failed and negligent management" led by Netanyahu.     
Anti-Netanyahu protesters at Habima Square in Tel Aviv commemorate the victims of the coronavirus pandemic in Israel, Saturday, January 30, 2021.Anti-Netanyahu protesters at Habima Square in Tel Aviv commemorate the victims of the coronavirus pandemic in Israel, Saturday, January 30, 2021.  
Different politicians, including Telem leader MK Moshe Ya'alon attended the protest at Habima Square on Saturday, signalling to protesters that they are not alone. During the protest, rising numbers were projected on the wall of the adjacent building of Israel's national theatre, reflecting the victims of the pandemic, alongside the text: "That is not a success, it's a failure." 
The Black Flags Movement later reported that the Tel Aviv protest was attended by some 2,000 people. 

Referring to the nationwide lockdown and recent clashes between police and the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community in Israel over the enforcement of lockdown restrictions, Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevich criticized the double standard in allowing the anti-Netanyahu protests to take place while the country is in lockdown. 
"Do you also find it weird seeing those who usually criticize the haredim remain silent in face of the mass violations of guidelines, without wearing any masks at the Balfour protests?," Yankelevich tweeted. "We must keep the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and denounce any violation of them. It's hard not to think that more than fearing the pandemic, this is a case of blind hatred toward haredim," she added.