Anti-government protesters block army draft center, demand tax boycott

Nationwide protests continue as anti-government activists demand early elections and immediate hostage deal with Hamas.

By World Israel News Staff

Demonstrators gathered a sites across Israel Sunday, continuing anti-government protests demanding an immediate hostage deal with Hamas to return the remaining captives held in Gaza, along with the dissolution of the current government and snap elections.

Activists blocked major traffic arteries including Route 1, which links Tel Aviv and the coastal plain with Jerusalem, along with Route 4, which runs from north-to-south just east of Tel Aviv.

Roads were also blocked in Kfar Tavor, Gazi, Yavor, Einat, and Nehalim.

The anti-government protests, which first began in response to the criminal indictments filed against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, were rekindled upon his return to power in December 2022 and plans by Justice Minister Yariv Levin to move forward with a comprehensive judicial reform plan.

The Hamas invasion of October 7th dampened the mass protests, but calls for Israel to reach a compromise with Hamas to bring home the remaining hostages led to a gradual resurgence of the anti-government demonstrations.

On Sunday, activists also cited the government’s efforts to pass a new draft law to maintain the status quo for full-time yeshiva students, allowing them to seek annual exemptions without limit.

Read  Anti-government protesters launch 'Day of disruption' across Israel

Critics say the new law would do little to pressure ultra-Orthodox men to enlist in the army – a cause protesters say has gained even greater importance following the outbreak of the Gaza war.

The Mothers at the Front and Brothers in Arms organizations, two left-wing groups critical of the Netanyahu government, organized a protest in front of the IDF’s Tel Hashomer induction center Sunday, demanding the government impose a sweeping draft of ultra-Orthodox men.

At government offices in Tel Aviv, dozens of protesters called for a tax revolt to force Israel to accept the demonstrators’ demands.