Mass protests erupted across Israel on Sunday evening and into the morning hours of Monday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired his defense minister, Yoav Gallant. A day earlier, Gallant had publicly called for a halt to the controversial judicial reform.
The nationwide demonstrations escalated with protesters blocking a major thoroughfare in Tel Aviv, setting fires on highways and being hit by water cannons as they besieged the prime minister’s private residence in Jerusalem. All this capped the first day of a planned week-long series of escalated anti-government demonstrations.
In Jerusalem, the demonstrators broke through barricades and fought with police in front of Netanyahu’s family home on Gaza Street. The police used water cannons to disperse the protesters, who then marched to the Knesset and the Prime Minister’s Office, where they chanted and called for Netanyahu’s resignation.
The moment protesters break through barricades in front of Prime Minister’s residence. One newscaster calls this by its name, a popular uprising. Tomorrow a nationwide strike is on horizon, joined by universities. The military is more fragile than ever. pic.twitter.com/GegHPKo6UK
— Louis Fishman لوي فيشمان לואי פישמן (@Istanbultelaviv) March 26, 2023
The leader of the Ben Gurion Airport workers’ union announced an immediate freeze on flights, minutes after the leader of the Histadrut labor union announced a “historic” nationwide strike to stop “the madness” of the government’s judicial overhaul.
Netanyahu was due to address the nation at around noon. He was expected to put judicial reform on hold for the time being.
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