Three attacks on protesters were reported as people across the country gathered on bridges on Saturday to demonstrate their disapproval of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanahu, as many were making their way to Israel's capital for the the 35th consecutive week of protests outside the Prime Minister's Residence on Balfour Street.According to Ynet, by 8 p.m. around 500 people had gathered outside the Prime Minister's official residence on Balfour Street, while another 150 protested outside Netanyahu's personal home in Ceasaria.
According to the Black Flags protest movement, three violent events were reported: An assault of a 70-year-old protester on Route 77, a verbal threat towards protesters at Rupin Junction, and trash and water being thrown at a female protester in a traffic jam near Jerusalem.
Yair Kedan, the Black Flags volunteer who was assaulted on Route 77, described the scene, saying, "I am already 70 years old and I have seen many things, but today I found myself confronting a Netanyahu supporter who tore up our signs. He grabbed my phone by force and threatened me, saying, 'Do not mess with me, I recognize your car and I know where you live.'
"I chased him with the camera to take a picture of him and then he approached and hit me while cycling and dropped my camera. It is all recorded on video," he said, adding that "they will not scare us. We are standing on the bridge for our country to look different."
Raz Hassid from Kfar Monash, who organized the protest at Rupin Junction, said, "We were standing at the junction and a big guy on a motorcycle with a helmet came down and threatened us one by one with movements implying he would beat us up."
"We gave his license plate number to the police and a complaint was filed," Hassid added.
Another violent event was reported during a traffic jam near the entrance to Jerusalem, where a man left hist car and began verbally berating a protester, before throwing trash and a cup of water on her as she was protesting in the snow.The Black Flags movement said that the man's license plate had been recorded and they would file a police complaint.
At the same time, protesters with another major protest movement, Ein Matzav, began protesting near Paris Square, next to the Balfour protest tent, a frequent site of controversy, the existence of which was recently approved by Israel's supreme court.
"Officials in the Jerusalem municipality have recently made illegal use of the force and are trying to eliminate the "Ein Matzav" encampment in Balfour contrary to the decisions of the District and Supreme Court," Ein Matzav said in a statement, adding that the nearby Likud camp has not once been disturbed or threatened by police, in light of their support of Netanyahu.
"We demand that the mayor of Jerusalem act in accordance with the decisions of the district court and the Supreme Court and ensure that the municipality of Jerusalem respects the rights of protest and court decisions and does not allow foreign considerations to lead the proceedings against the protest tent and the protesters."
The Crime Minister movement said ahead of the demonstration that "When the Balfour criminal organization threatens witnesses and wishes them a 'happy holiday,' the public must be reminded that every day Netanyahu serves is a serious attack on Israeli democracy and the law enforcement system. The madness must not be normalized."
"The coronavirus failure has shown that Israel needs a full-time prime minister and not a criminal defendant who crosses every red line and makes an alliance with Kahanists to escape justice. The change is in our hands. We will continue to demonstrate every Saturday evening, in every weather and in every situation until he leaves!"