Israelis rally against government

The Report Desk

Published: April 14, 2024, 03:02 PM

Israelis rally against government

Photo: Reuters

Over the weekend, thousands of Israelis took to the streets in a show of defiance against their government‍‍`s handling of the ongoing Gaza conflict, demanding action to resolve the deadlock concerning hostages held by Hamas. The rally, held in Tel Aviv, highlighted growing frustration over the lack of progress in diplomatic efforts to secure the release of the captives.

Since the attack on Israel last October, where Hamas militants seized 253 individuals and claimed the lives of 1,200 others, concerns have escalated for the safety of the remaining 129 hostages. Despite initial releases following a November truce, attempts by Egypt and Qatar to broker another agreement have hit a standstill.

The demonstrators, including family members and friends of the hostages, voiced their discontent with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‍‍`s government. They joined forces with activists critical of Netanyahu‍‍`s leadership, citing his ongoing corruption trial and controversial judicial reforms as additional grievances.

Marva Erez, one of the protestors, expressed her concern, stating, "Our country‍‍`s near the abyss. We‍‍`ve already started to drive down and we must stop it. I‍‍`m here to gather the force to tell the people that they need to come out and they need to tell our government that it‍‍`s time to stop."

Despite mounting pressure, Netanyahu remains steadfast in his commitment to dismantle Hamas. However, his approach has drawn criticism from both domestic and international quarters, particularly regarding the civilian casualties in Gaza, where medical officials report over 33,000 Palestinian deaths.

Hamas has insisted on linking any hostage deal to an end to the Gaza conflict and the withdrawal of Israeli forces. Culture Minister Miki Zohar, a senior figure in Netanyahu‍‍`s Likud party, affirmed the government‍‍`s stance, emphasizing that any agreement must not compromise national security.

The protest in Tel Aviv coincided with a smaller vigil dedicated to the hostages, with participants later merging with the larger demonstration. Michael Levy, whose brother is among the captives, emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, "We have no time for talks. We need actions. We need to get them home."

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