update deskIsrael News

Activists harass coalition lawmakers as ‘Day of Disruption’ kicks off

Anti-government protesters demand early elections as they mark nine months of war with nation-wide demonstrations.

Demonstrators protest against the Israeli government at the Amiad Junction, north of the Sea of Galilee, July 6, 2024. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.
Demonstrators protest against the Israeli government at the Amiad Junction, north of the Sea of Galilee, July 6, 2024. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.

Anti-government demonstrators harassed Israeli lawmakers on Sunday morning as part of what organizers called a “Day of Disruption” across the country to mark the ninth month since the start of the war.

Protesters gathered in front of the home of Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana of the ruling Likud Party, shouting ,”The blood is on the hands of the right-wing government.”

Other MKs targeted included Foreign Minister Israel Katz, Economy Minister Nir Barkat, Transportation Minister Miri Regev, Agriculture Minister Avi Dichter and Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee Minister Yitzhak Wasserlauf.

The home of Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was also targeted, with protesters shouting “Total failure.”

In total, 18 Knesset members and ministers from the ruling coalition were targeted.

Labor union chief targeted

Left-wing protesters also gathered outside of the home of Histadrut labor federation chairman Arnon Bar-David, calling on him to declare a general strike to demand early elections, a move that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected while the military campaign against Hamas in Gaza and on other fronts is ongoing.

The majority of Israelis believe that early elections would hurt the war effort, according to a poll conducted for JNS late last month.

Fifty-four percent of respondents said a national vote before the end of the war with Hamas and Hezbollah would “hurt” (9%) or be “very harmful” (45%) to Israel’s deterrence in the face of ongoing threats.

Protesters block roads

Activists from the various protest organizations also blocked roads and interchanges across the country, burning tires, lighting flares and causing major traffic backups.

At least one protester was detained for burning tires on Highway 1.

According to protest organizers, six were arrested during the morning’s demonstrations, with one injured and taken for medical treatment during a protest in Jerusalem.

The demonstrations began at 6:29 a.m., the time rocket alarms began sounding on Oct. 7 at the start of the Hamas invasion that killed over a thousand people and wounded thousands more, with hundreds kidnapped and widespread atrocities reported.

Protests were expected to continue throughout the day and into the evening, including at around 30 locations around the country including in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa.

More than 150 of the biggest high-tech companies in Israel and several venture capital funds are allowing employees to participate in the protests.

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