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Activists launch ‘Week of Disruption’ in bid to bring down Netanyahu

"Our goal is clear: to return the mandate to the people and go to elections before the anniversary of the Oct. 7 failures," one protest leader said.

Protesters call for the release of Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip and the resignation of the Israeli government, outside the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, June 15, 2024. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90.
Protesters call for the release of Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip and the resignation of the Israeli government, outside the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, June 15, 2024. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90.

Israeli opposition groups kicked off a “Week of Disruption” on Sunday aimed at bringing down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition and forcing a election within four months.

Eran Schwartz, the CEO of Blue and White Future, which once offered financial and organizational support to groups opposing the premier’s now-shelved judicial reform drive, said protests would continue until a government with “a desire to do good to the people” is elected.

“Our goal is clear: to return the mandate to the people and go to elections before the anniversary of the October 7 failures,” said Schwartz, who also leads Free in Our Land—Headquarters of the Struggle.

Schwartz spoke at a press conference in Tel Aviv that included the leaders of several anti-government protest groups, including Brothers in Arms, Elections Now, Building an Alternative, the Pink Front, the Change Generation and the Fighters from the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

He called on local authorities and business leaders to join the rallies, citing the need for the “establishment of a broad, agreed-upon and acceptable government.”

The protests kicked off with the blocking of highways throughout the country. This included protesters stopping traffic on Route 1 (the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway). Bonfires were lit on the Coastal Highway (Route 2) north of Tel Aviv.

Local protests are set to be held nationwide during the day on Monday, followed by a large rally at the Knesset in Jerusalem at night. Activists also intend to march to Netanyahu’s official residence on Balfour Street.

Another rally will take place at the Knesset on Tuesday, followed by an event in Israel’s south on Wednesday night. On Thursday, more protests will be held near Netanyahu’s Jerusalem and Caesarea residences.

While some families of hostages held by Hamas since the Oct. 7 attacks have joined the protests, the Tikva Forum for Families of Hostages has repeatedly condemned calls to join the anti-government movement, arguing that politicizing the hostage issue could backfire.

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