Thousands of Israelis gathered once again on Saturday evening, September 5, as they have during the past three months, outside the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem and at other locations around the country, calling on the prime minister to resign. Among the protestors: several Hadash and Communist Party activists.
Towards the start of the rally in Paris Square, hundreds of protestors marched from the city’s Chords Bridge to join up with main demonstration outside the PM’s official residence. Police attempted to stop the group from marching through Jaffa Street towards Netanyahu’s residence, but protesters removed police barriers and brief clashes ensued.
At least 12 arrests were made Saturday night in Jerusalem. Among those arrested were a Hadash activist from Nazareth and cartoonist and performance artist Zeev Engelmayer, who showed up as his character “Shoshka” wearing a naked female bodysuit, Engelmayer, in character, has been a fixture at previous protests, and it was not immediately clear why he was being detained. The cartoonist, who was released later in the evening, alleged police officers, forced him to strip so they could search him while he was being interrogated. Police responded by stating that his costume “might be considered sexual harassment.”
Protests were also reported in Caesarea, where around a thousand protestors gathered at a square outside Netanyahu’s’ private home. Demonstrations were also held at some 300 overpasses around the country. Protesters who were deployed at the Givat Olga overpass, near Hadera, reported that they found their car windows smashed after returning from the demonstration.
Friday night, 13 anti-government activists were arrested for attempting to load several police crowd control barriers onto a truck, ahead of the weekly demonstrations in Jerusalem. The activists claim crowd control barriers prevent them from following social distancing restrictions, while police accused them of attempted theft. In addition, a press photographer was detained for over an hour, with the police confiscating his camera. Police claim he was detained because “his press card had expired.”