Tens of thousands of Israeli citizens gathered on Saturday evening, October 24, to protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right government. In this latest round of demonstrations, rallies were held outside Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv’s Rabin and Habima squares, near Netanyahu’s home in Caesarea and at hundreds of overpasses and intersections around the country. Hadash and Communist Party activists launched new protest points in the Galilee and the Triangle region east and north of Tel Aviv, two areas that are home to hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel. In a statement it issued after the events, the Black Flag protest movement estimated that 170,000 people showed up on Saturday to demonstrate throughout the country.
The crowd in Paris Square outside the Prime Minister’s Residence was large compared to recent weeks, with some reports putting the number of people there between 10,000 and 15,000. Several marches took place through the city. One such march with several hundred activists led to clashes between protesters and police.
There were several reports of fascist violence toward protesters, including in Haifa, Holon, Ramat Gan, Ramat HaSharon and Tel Aviv. Police said they arrested three people suspected of threatening demonstrators with a taser in Tel Aviv, and another who allegedly hurled an egg at protesters in Holon. In addition, there were reports of protesters having been beaten with a wooden pole by people who stopped and got out of their car at the Horev Junction in Haifa. Another incident allegedly occurred at an intersection between Tel Aviv and Ramat HaSharon, where demonstrators reported that their signs were torn from their hands and eggs were thrown at them. Police arrested a food delivery courier after he allegedly tried to run over protesters using an electric bicycle on Ibn Givirol Street in Tel Aviv. In Ramat Gan, a passerby attacked a demonstrator with a black flag. The protester said he was pushed and hit hard on the shoulder.
Mass protests against Netanyahu have been taking since June. They were originally limited mostly to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but in recent weeks — following the government’s temporary ban on travel and mass protests as part of a second coronavirus lockdown — activists throughout the country have begun holding smaller rallies at hundreds of locations throughout the country.