Israelis protest law that forces them to demonstrate close to home

Israelis protest law that forces them to demonstrate close to home

October 3, 2020

Thousands of Israelis say ‘1km it is’ in protests across the country against a new law meant to curb anti-government demonstrations during coronavirus lockdown

  • Protests under the banner of ‘1km it is’ after new measures were introduced 
  • Legal change made it illegal for demonstrators to protest 1km away from home
  •  Israel’s anti-Netanyahu Black Flag Movement estimated that 100,000 people were taking part in demonstrations across the nation

Thousands of Israelis protested under the banner of ‘1km it is’ in demonstrations across the country tonight against a new law meant to curb anti-government demonstrations during coronavirus lockdown. 

The street protests, just three days after parliament approved an edict to limit the scope of such demonstrations, kept pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his handling of the coronavirus crisis and over allegations of corruption, which he denies.

The new law bans Israelis from holding demonstrations more than 1 km (about half a mile) from their homes and forces stricter social distancing, a measure the government said was aimed at curbing COVID-19 infections. Critics have called it a blow to freedom of speech. 

The protests were being held under the banner of ‘a kilometre it is’ in response to the draconian measures. 

Israeli police officers arrest an Israeli protester during a demonstration against lockdown measures that they believe are aimed at curbing protests against prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tel Aviv, Israel today

A demonstrator is detained by police officers as Israelis protest against legislation banning them from holding demonstrations more than 1 km (0.6 miles) from their homes tonight

A demonstrator scuffles with a police officer as Israelis protest against legislation banning them from holding demonstrations more than 1 km (0.6 miles) from their homes in Tel Aviv tonight

Israeli police detain an anti-government protester during a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and against the second nationwide lockdown imposed by the government in a bid to stem the increase of COVID-19 infection cases, in the coastal city of Tel Aviv today 

Israeli anti-government protesters chant slogans during a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and against the second nationwide lockdown imposed by the government in a bid to stem the increase of COVID-19 infection cases, in the coastal city of Tel Aviv tonight 

Israel’s anti-Netanyahu Black Flag Movement estimated that 100,000 people were taking part in demonstrations across the nation, Haaretz reported.  

Most protests on Saturday night were small and scattered throughout the country, though a crowd of thousands gathered in Tel Aviv. 

A small number of protesters scuffled with police and tried to block city streets. 

About fifteen people were arrested, a police spokesman said.


Israeli police detain anti-government protesters during a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv tonight 

Israeli police detain an anti-government protester during a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv tonight 

Israeli police detain an anti-government protester during a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tonight 

Israelis protest against legislation banning them from holding demonstrations more than 1 km (0.6 miles) from their homes in Tel Aviv tonight 

Israel has shut down much of its economy and instructed people to stay within a kilometre of their homes whenever possible in an effort to contain a second-wave surge in coronavirus infections. 

Yesterday, Israel’s tourism minister resigned in protest at the new law, saying the measure left him without a ‘shred of trust’ in the veteran leader.

Asaf Zamir will be replaced by Orit Farkash Hacohen, a fellow member of the Blue and White party, a party spokeswoman said.

‘My conscience does not allow me to stay in a government that prevents de facto protests,’ Zamir said on Facebook. ‘Even at its most difficult time, Netanyahu runs the country according to his own political interest.’

Israeli mounted police arrive at the scene of a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv tonight 

Israeli police detain an anti-government protester during a demonstration against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv tonight 

People holding banners gather to protest against the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding his resignation over corruption cases and his failure to combat the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Tel Aviv, Israel tonight 

Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud, which forged a coalition government with Blue and White in May after a close election, called Zamir’s resignation an attempt to shore up support from liberal Israelis angry with the premier. 

Blue and White is led by Defence Minister Benny Gantz, a Netanyahu rival.

‘Blue and White are sitting in a government while working against the government. It is time for them to decide whether to fight the disease, or fight the government,’ Likud said on Twitter. 

Opinion polls show only about a quarter of the public has confidence in Netanyahu’s handling of the pandemic, which had largely subsided during a March-May lockdown.

New COVID-19 cases in Israel have risen above 7,000 a day among its 9 million population, overtaxing some hospitals.

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