Anti-Netanyahu camp stages rowdy protest at official residence

As the protest ended, there were small scuffles between police and some protesters.

By Associated Press

Thousands of Israelis on Tuesday demonstrated outside the official residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling on him to resign.

Netanyahu has seen his popularity drop in recent weeks as he comes under criticism from a series of directions. In recent days, there have been a number of demonstrations saying that Netanyahu is unfit to lead at a time when he is on trial for corruption charges.

Others have taken to the streets to protest a worsening economic crisis caused by the coronavirus.

The rowdy demonstration Tuesday evening included protesters defying orders to maintain social distancing requirements, chanting slogans and blowing horns outside Netanyahu’s home.

As the demonstrating was ending, there were small scuffles between police and some protesters.

Netanyahu is currently on trial for a series of cases in which he allegedly received gifts from wealthy friends and traded regulatory favors with media moguls for more favorable coverage of himself and his family.

He denies wrongdoing and has doggedly refused to step down, lashing out at the media, the judiciary and law enforcement, which he says are engaged in a witch-hunt against him.

Netanyahu’s trial, which began in May, is scheduled to resume next week.

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On Monday, police dispersed a group of activists who had set up tents outside his official residence in central Jerusalem.

The country is now experiencing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases and the economy is struggling as unemployment remains above 20%. Critics accuse him of leading a bloated, out-of-touch government and moving too slowly to help struggling Israelis.

Netanyahu has promised a “safety net” to help the self-employed, unemployed and small businesses, and has been holding a series of meetings to ensure that promised stipends are quickly paid out.