20 detained for protesting outside Israeli attorney general's home

Protesters decry AG Avichai Mandelblit's policy of protecting the prime minister in corruption cases.

PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU consults with Avichai Mandelblit. (photo credit: REUTERS)
PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU consults with Avichai Mandelblit.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Twenty protesters were detained near the home of Israel's Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit in the central Israeli city of Petah Tikva after they attempted to draw near the house of the attorney general in a violent demonstration Saturday evening.
At least 100 Israelis took to the streets in order to protest a recent police announcement that demonstrations will not be allowed to take place in a radius of several hundreds of meters surrounding Mandelblit's home.
The protesters marched towards Mandelblit's home and were blocked by police forces on streets leading there.
According to Israeli media, several MKs such as Zionist Union lawmakers Miki Rosenthal, Erel Margalit and Ayelet Nachmias-Verbin spoke to the police prior to the demonstration and asked that protesters be allowed to demonstrate.
Protests decrying the attorney general's policy have been taking place near his residence every Saturday evening for the past several months.
Some held posters depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and displaying slogans such as: "When you look after him you don't look after us."
The demonstrators were referencing the accusation that Mandelblit chose to remain silent amid reports that he was aware of the allegations against the premier that police are now investigating in several corruption cases.
Saturday night's protest was especially fraught with tension and escalated quickly to violence, as demonstrators were not apparently willing to disperse and did not heed police calls to leave and keep a distance from Mandelblit's home.
Police released an official statement, saying that: "As part of a demonstration activity which took place on Independence Street in Petah Tikva, and without coordination with the Israel Police, dozens of protesters started marching... while part of them tried to reach streets leading up to the private home of the government's attorney general. That is against the law and against a High Court ruling that discussed the punishment of the protesters and was delayed. The Israel Police will not allow to have a protest near the home of a public servant and will operate according to the High Court ruling."