NewsThousands rally in Israel demanding Netanyahu's resignation amid hostage crisis

Thousands rally in Israel demanding Netanyahu's resignation amid hostage crisis

They are fed up with Netanyahu. Riots in Tel Aviv
They are fed up with Netanyahu. Riots in Tel Aviv
Images source: © East News | Ariel Schalit

6:19 AM EDT, May 12, 2024

On Saturday evening, streets across Israel were filled with thousands of citizens rallying for massive protests. Their primary demand was the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom they accuse of leading the country towards a complete collapse.
In the crowds that flowed through the streets of Tel Aviv, families of hostages held by Hamas were notably present. They clenched photographs of their missing loved ones, making their pain visible and poignant to all around.

"Netanyahu is leading Israel to complete collapse"

Statements from the families of the hostages echoed through Israeli media, asserting, "As long as Netanyahu remains in power, the hostages will remain in captivity... Netanyahu is leading the country to complete collapse."

Naama Weinberg, whose cousin was abducted in a Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, highlighted the urgency of the situation during her speech at a Tel Aviv demonstration. She referred to a video released by Hamas indicating the death of another Israeli hostage. As Reuters quoted, Weinberg implored, "Soon, even those who have managed to survive will no longer be among the living. They must be saved now."

Clashes with the police occurred
The protests escalated when some participants took radical steps, such as blocking the main highway in the city. This led to clashes with the police, who responded with water cannons. The Times of Israel reported that several protesters were arrested.
According to Israeli data, of the 252 people kidnapped on October 7, 128 still remain in the Gaza Strip, with at least 36 hostages confirmed killed by the Israeli investigative commission.
Throughout the conflict between Israel and Hamas, approximately 35,000 Palestinians are reported dead, and at least 90 percent of Gaza Strip residents have been forced to abandon their homes.

Netanyahu remains defiant

Despite the unrest, the Israeli military continues its "limited" and "precise" operations against Hamas in Rafah, a southern area of the Gaza Strip, as announced by military spokesman Daniel Hagari. The operations in Rafah seek a "lasting defeat" of Hamas and the release of hostages, emphasizing that their battle is with Hamas, not Gaza's citizens.

Israel overlooks calls for a ceasefire

Since the conflict's inception in October 2023, about 1.4 million of the Gaza Strip's 2.3 million inhabitants have sought refuge in Rafah. The international community has expressed concerns that continued operations in the city will result in more civilian casualties and exacerbate the already dire humanitarian crisis within the Palestinian enclave.
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