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Protesters participate in a weekly demonstration against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The anti-Netanyahu protests have been a weekly occurrence for the last nine monthsImage: Ammar Awad/REUTERS
Politics

Thousands protest against Israel PM Netanyahu ahead of polls

March 21, 2021

The 39th weekly protest against Israeli PM Netanyahu's alleged corruption and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic saw thousands gather in Jerusalem with only three days left for the parliamentary elections.

https://p.dw.com/p/3qvHl

Thousands of people in Israel held demonstrations outside the residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Saturday, calling for his ouster with only three days left for the country's fourth parliamentary election in two years.

People waved flags and carried posters about the need for a "revolution" and mistrust in the police, while a man with a bullhorn was heard chanting "Bibi go home," using Netanyahu's  nickname.

The anti-Netanyahu protests have been a weekly occurrence for the last nine months.

However, they saw a decline in numbers due to the winter and after the announcement of early elections in December.

Critics accuse Netanyahu of corruption and mismanagement of the COVID pandemic
Critics accuse Netanyahu of corruption and mismanagement of the COVID pandemicImage: Ammar Awad/REUTERS

Largest protest in months

Saturday night's rally was the 39th such protest and the largest the country has seen in months. Those in the grassroots protest movement accuse Netanyahu of corruption — a charge he denies.

The prime minister's management of the coronavirus has also been blamed for the struggling Israeli economy and job losses.

Still, Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party is expected to emerge as the biggest party in the 120-member parliament but opinion polls are predicting a tight race with no clear majority in the ballot scheduled for March 23. 

The 71-year-old is relying on his successful COVID-19 inoculation campaign and a series of normalization agreements with Arab nations to lead him to victory.

dvv/sri (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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