Hundreds rally outside Netanyahu’s residence amid trial, political deadlock

Hundreds of people gathered outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official Jerusalem residence on Saturday night to rally against the premier on trial for corruption charges.

Police closed several roads as protesters tried to block traffic.

The protest was held as Netanyahu’s corruption trial kicked into high gear, with three hearings per week, and as the Likud leader struggles to form a government after four consecutive elections in two years.

With the March election results continuing the political deadlock of the past three elections, it is unclear that either the bloc that supports Netanyahu or the bloc that opposes him will be able to form a government.

Israelis walk past a poster depicting Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu during a protest against the PM, outside his official residence in Jerusalem on April 17, 2021 (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Demonstrators have been holding regular protests for months against Netanyahu, demanding he resign over his trial on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.

Netanyahu denies wrongdoing and claims the indictments are part of an effort by political rivals, the media, police, and prosecutors to remove him from office.

At its height in mid-summer 2020, the anti-Netanyahu protest movement saw tens of thousands take to the streets in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, with thousands more at bridges and intersections across the country.

One of the largest demonstrations so far was held on March 20, in what was the final mass protest before the latest Knesset elections. Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Jerusalem on that Saturday evening.

Protesters have also criticized his government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

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