Anti-unity government protesters return to Tel Aviv

The protesters oppose Netanyahu serving as prime minister while he faces charges in three corruption cases.

By Associated Press

Several thousand Israelis on Saturday demonstrated against a unity government deal reached last week that leaves Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power, after which political rival Benny Gantz will become Israel’s leader.

The protesters oppose having Netanyahu serve as prime minister as long as he faces charges in three corruption cases. Netanyahu is scheduled to face trial next month on charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes. He denies the charges.

The protest on Saturday was staged in central Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, although demonstrators maintained distance from each other in line with health regulations in place for weeks meant to halt the spread of the coronavirus. Protesters, wearing face masks, waved Israeli flags and anti-Netanyahu signs.

Netanyahu and former military chief Gantz, leader of the Blue and White party, signed the power-sharing agreement after weeks of negotiations for a “national emergency” government meant to steer the country through the coronavirus outbreak.

The deal requires the approval of both parties on key appointments, including the attorney general and the state prosecutor.

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A similar protest was staged last Sunday evening.