As economic protests in Tel Aviv came to an end on Saturday night, protesters began to block roads and clash with police throughout the city.
Dozens of protesters blocked HaHasmonaim and Hamisgar-Yitzhak Sadeh roads and the exit to the Ayalon Highway. The intersection in front of the Azrieli towers was blocked by protesters leaving the protest in Rabin Square. The chief of the central Tel Aviv police station addressed protesters blocking the Azrieli Junction saying that "you are in an illegal gathering. You have five minutes to leave the intersection. If you do not leave the intersection, we will be forced to use reasonable force against you," according to Channel 12.
Israel Police announced that they were working to disperse the crowds that were conducting an "illegal protest and disturbing the public order."
Those "inciting and resisting the dispersal with force" were arrested by police. Pictures and videos from Tel Aviv showed violent clashes, with protesters attacking police and police holding down protesters who were being arrested. Some officers arrived on horseback as part of efforts to disperse the demonstrators.Some 19 people were called in for questioning overnight for disturbing public order, with 12 being arrested afterwards. Three police officers were lightly injured as protesters attacked police and threw bottles and tear gas at them. Protesters vandalized parts of Rothschild Boulevard and lit fires in trash cans, according to a police statement.The police stressed that while they "allow the freedom to protest, there is a difference between a legitimate protest with defined boundaries and a riot that throws off every rein and violates the public order while harming police officers, damaging property and harming the general public."
Videos circulated on Saturday night showed protesters throwing stones through the glass door of a Discount Bank branch on Ibn Gabirol Street.
Protesters gathered in the streets chanting about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Bibi go home!" in footage published by Channel 12.
Some 80,000 protesters gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday to voice their anger at the failed policies of Netanyahu and Finance Minister Israel Katz, who promised to help the nation’s economy during the COVID-19 crisis.
Hagay Hacohen contributed to this report.