Protesters rally outside of Knesset to demand new elections

Anti-government protesters gather outside of the Knesset, demanding Netanyahu resign and early elections be held.

By JNS

Anti-government protesters gathered at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament in Jerusalem on Sunday night, demanding that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resign and agree to early elections amid the war in Gaza.

The Sunday demonstration, which kicked off large-scale, multi-day protests in Israel’s capital, also urged Netanyahu to accept a hostages-for-ceasefire agreement with the Hamas terrorist organization.

The gathering was organized by a coalition of left-wing groups, including Brothers in Arms and the Kaplan Force, that previously coordinated protests against the government’s now-shelved judicial reform agenda.

“The government of the destruction, which brought about the year of the disaster and the failure of Oct. 7, continues its attempts to disband the people’s army, damage the security of the state and tear the people of Israel apart,” wrote the Kaplan Force in the announcement.

“Just as we mobilized in 2023 to stop the dictatorial coup, just as we mobilized in the weeks after Oct. 7, this is the time for the people to mobilize, take to the streets and save the State of Israel,” it read.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid Party spoke at the rally, emphasizing that he seeks to “establish another government in a few weeks. As long as we are a democracy, there is a tool that can change reality. It is called elections. Election now!” added Lapid.

Read  Netanyahu slams 'absurd' proposed US sanctions against IDF unit as 'a moral low'

Ahead of the official protest near the Knesset, activists carrying flags of Brothers in Arms descended upon ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods to demand a universal military draft, resulting in clashes with residents.

In an address to the nation earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu rejected the suggestion of holding elections during the war, saying it would paralyze hostage negotiations and bring a premature end to the war in Gaza.

“The first who welcome this is Hamas, and that says everything,” added the premier.

For his part, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir condemned Brothers in Arms as a “provocation organization” that has “engaged time and time again in stirring up fratricidal war and the division of Israeli society.”

“Those who led a campaign of refusal before 7/10, and now continue the tradition of provocation and hatred, are the last to pretend to care about Israel’s security,” Ben-Gvir declares.

>