Anti-Government ‘Day of disruption’ in Israel, Protests Across the Country

Anti-government protesters demonstrated Sunday, July 7, earlier morning outside the homes of far-right government ministers and MKs as part of a “day of disruption” calling for elections, hostages’ deal and ceasefire in Gaza.

“Blood is on the hands of the far-right government,” anti-government protesters outside the home of Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana in Tel-Aviv, July 7, 2024 (Photo: Yael Gadot / Black Flag Protest)

Lawmakers targeted in the protests include Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Foreign Minister Israel Katz, Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana, Economy Minister Nir Barkat, Transportation Minister Miri Regev, Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter and Negev, Galilee and National Security Minister Yitzhak Wasserlauf. Outside Ohana’s Tel Aviv home, demonstrators shout: “Blood is on the hands of the far-right government.”

Anti-government groups are gearing up on Sunday another “day of disruption,” and today’s demonstrations will form part of the “week of resistance” protest groups kicked off at their weekly protests last night. The protesters blocked major throughways including Routes 2, 4 and 6, and held rallies across the country, culminating tonight in a mass demonstration outside the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv.

There will also be a rally outside the Histadrut’s labor federation’s Tel Aviv offices to call on the union to strike in solidarity with the protest groups’ demand for the far-government to step down. In addition, this morning, a demonstration gathered outside the Kiryat Ono home of Histadrut chief Arnon Bar-David, who has previously indicated his support for the anti-government protests. Some of Israel’s leading companies, mainly from the tech and finance sectors, have said they will employees take time off to protest.

On Saturday night, tens of thousands participated in nationwide protests calling for the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza, opposing the far-right government and against the war, as reports of progress in negotiations between Israel and Hamas sparked hope among demonstrators.

Police detain several people in Jerusalem and on the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv, where hundreds of people participated in a road blockage following the weekly anti-government protest on Kaplan Street. The detentions in Tel Aviv follow the arrival of a crowd of protesters to the northbound lanes of the traffic artery. In Jerusalem, police arrest protesters en route the Prime Minister’s Residence where thousands of people marched to call for an early election. Protests were held also in more than 80 locations all over Israel, among them all mayor cities.

Earlier in Tel-Aviv, Maayan Sherman, whose soldier son Ron was kidnapped to Gaza and killed in captivity, spoke at a protest in Kaplan Junction.  “His life ended in a tunnel when it was decided to bomb the northern Gaza brigade commander along with the hostages with him. Our Ron was sacrificed for the sake of coalition’s unity. He unwillingly became a resounding exclamation point on nine months of abandonment and on what could happen right now if Netanyahu continues to thwart the chance for a life-saving deal.” A group of family members of Israeli hostages held in Gaza gathered outside Tel Aviv’s defense headquarters ahead of the weekly protest urging the government to agree to a deal with Hamas that will see the hostages’ release.

“For the first time in many long months we are feeling hopeful,” said Einav Zangauker, whose son, Matan, was kidnapped during Hamas’ October 7 attack and is held in Gaza. “This is a chance that can’t be missed!” she cried. “Netanyahu, we have seen how you, time and time again, torpedoed the deals in the moment of truth, our hearts shattered to pieces every time,” she addressed the prime minister, imploring him: “Don’t you dare break our hearts again!”