Hundreds of Israeli protesters gathered in Tel Aviv against Benny Gantz and Netanyahu’s coalition government agreement. The protest against the coalition deal comes a day before the country’s apex court is expected to scrutinize the new agreement legally.
The demonstrations at Rubin square are going on for the third consecutive week. However, the protesters are practicing social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from each other and protesting effectively.
The protestors shouted slogans that echoed the Rubin Square, and they chanted “shame, shame”. There were placards in the hands of protestors, which said: “we don’t want a corruption government”.
Netanyahu has been facing serious corruption charges and was expected to go on trial last month, but due to coronavirus, the trial was delayed. People are angry with the new power-sharing deal between the two arch political rivals that leaves Netanyahu the prime minister for the fifth term, making him the longest-serving leader of Israel.
The movement for quality government in Israel organized the Saturday protests in Tel Aviv’s Rubin Square. The group has also filed a legal appeal in the supreme court challenging the agreement. Other towns and cities also recorded protests in small numbers.
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The main demands of the groups are that the high court must stop a convicted politician, including Netanyahu to form a government. They also challenged certain clauses of the new deal, maintaining that those are illegal.
The court is expected to hear the appeals on Tuesday and will decide whether to struct down the deal or keep it. If the court strikes down the deal, Israel could be plunged into the fourth election in just less than 12 months.
In January, the prime minister was charged with bribery, corruption, and breach of trust. His trial, which was due in March, has now been postponed until May 24. Under the new deal, both the far-right leaders will serve as the prime minister for 18 months each.
Both parties agreed on the deal, after a year of three inconclusive elections. No major party could secure the majority in Knesset to form the government. Though March elections, which were the country’s third, also ended without any winner.
Benny Gantz had earlier maintained that he was not ready to form any sort of alliance or coalition with Netanyahu because of the corruption charges he faces. However, he went back to his statements and came into an agreement with Netanyahu.
The deal also includes the clause to advance plans to annex the West Bank region Israel had occupied in the 1967 war. Annexation is expected to start from July 1, as the United States has also given its approval for going ahead with the annexation, albeit it must be in line with Trump’s middle east peace plan.
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