Israeli Demonstrators Call For Government To Resign

( – The war between Israel and Hamas has extended past the seven-month mark. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is determined to get rid of the militant group once and for all and has promised not to stop until he does. However, his actions and seemingly one-track mind have irked many people in his country. They recently protested the government and called for its resignation.

On Monday, May 20, protestors gathered on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem motorway in a “day of disruption” event, where they were calling on the Israeli government to resign. They also wanted an early election, citing the government’s inability to bring home hostages that are still in Hamas’ custody more than seven months later. Tens of thousands of people took part in the event.

Another topic driving the protest is the Haredi conscription legislation. The Haredi community is ultra-Orthodox and has been exempted for years from Israel’s conscription policy. The nation’s High Court has allowed an exemption for Haredi men, provided they remained in yeshiva, an orthodox college or seminary, until age 26. After that point, they’d have a permanent exemption. Yet, there are talks of issuing financial sanctions against those who don’t report, in the face of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Brothers in Arms, an anti-government organization in Israel, accused the country’s police of becoming “an executive political tool of an extremist government” after 13 of its members were arrested in the protest. Citing the government’s failure to free hostages and help the thousands displaced by Hezbollah and Hamas attacks, the group vowed to keep demonstrating until the Knesset is dissolved.

There were also reportedly plans to march to Netanyahu’s home in Jerusalem, but protestors were discouraged when police sprayed them with Skunk liquid, a chemical designed to disperse crowds.

Netanyahu is catching flak from all sides. The US, while still honoring the country’s right to defend itself, is strongly discouraging its offensive on Rafah. The International Criminal Court prosecutor also filed arrest warrants for both the Israeli prime minister and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

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