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  • AutorenbildRichard Krauss

Massive protests in Tel Aviv: Demands for release of hostages and new elections - Netanyahu under pressure

TEL AVIV / JERUSALEM - Israel : On June 29, 2024, thousands gathered in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities to protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The demonstrations were directed against his government policies and demanded the release of hostages and new elections.

Protests also took place in Jerusalem, Haifa, Beersheba and in front of Netanyahu's villa in Caesarea, with varying numbers of participants.

Noa Argamani, a recently released hostage, addressed demonstrators in Tel Aviv via video message, appealing for the release of the hostages and peace.

The demonstrators sharply criticized Netanyahu for his inadequate negotiations with Hamas and loudly called for new elections.

The protests are part of an ongoing series of demonstrations against the Netanyahu government that have been going on for several months. In addition to domestic tensions, there are also military clashes with Hezbollah in northern Israel.

The Israeli Air Force responded to Hezbollah's countless rocket attacks on northern Israel and neutralized several targets in southern Lebanon, including weapons depots and military infrastructure belonging to the terrorist organization Hezbollah. These attacks led to significant tensions in the region, causing property damage and an increased military presence on the border.

Residents of Israel's northern regions report uncertainty and fear of further escalations. Schools and businesses remained closed, and many families fled the at-risk areas. Economic activities were severely disrupted, and there were reports of psychological distress among affected communities.

Many residents sought shelter in safe houses, and medical care increasingly focused on treating stress-related symptoms. Local authorities set up emergency centers to ensure the population's care. Fear of further attacks led to a sharp reduction in public life, which also put a strain on infrastructure and local services.

According to Israeli media, the demonstrations have attracted widespread attention across the country. It remains to be seen whether the government will continue with its controversial plans or whether pressure from the population and political opponents will be enough to force changes.

Netanyahu is under considerable pressure as Israel's prime minister. His plans for judicial reform, which would increase the government's influence on the selection of judges and curtail the power of the Supreme Court, have plunged the country into a deep crisis.

Netanyahu is dependent on the support of right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties, which have a narrow majority in the Knesset. In order to retain their support, he is not giving in to the demands of the demonstrators.

At the same time, he is under massive pressure from the mass protests, which fear that the planned judicial reforms will undermine democracy. Netanyahu is trying to deal with the protests harshly. The police have sometimes used violence against demonstrators.

Research sources: Haaretz, Times of Israel, ynet, Jerusalem Post, i24news, Kan Israel Broadcast

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