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Tens of thousands march in Tel Aviv to voice anger against Netanyahu

Israelis rally against Netanyahu, on November 25, 2023. (Photo via social media)

Tens of thousands of Israelis have demonstrated in Tel Aviv to express their anger at prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Tel Aviv failed to achieve the "objectives" of the weeks-long war on Gaza, including the release of all captives.

On Saturday, an estimated 100,000 people, including the friends and family of the captives, and many supporters came together in what media called the biggest number since Israel started the war on Gaza Strip seven weeks ago.

The rallies came amid a delay in the release of the second group of hostages and Palestinian prisoners after the temporary four-day ceasefire took effect on Friday.

Under the terms of the deal, which was mediated by Qatar and Egypt, during the four-day truce in Gaza, at least 50 Israeli captives are expected to be freed in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners, all women and children.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and Israel carried out the first phase of the prisoner swap deal on Friday, which saw 39 Palestinian female and child prisoners released from Israel’s Ofer prison in the occupied West Bank.

In return, 13 women and children, some holding dual citizenship, were released by Hamas in addition to 10 Thai captives and one Filipino.

The second phase of the prisoner swap came after an hours-long delay, which Hamas said was due to the Israeli regime’s violation of the terms of the truce deal.

According to al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, the delay was caused by Israel's failure to observe the deal on issues such as easing the delivery of humanitarian aid and fuel to Gaza as well as halting gunfire that, the brigades said, led to more deaths and injuries among civilians.

Later in the day, Hamas freed 13 Israeli captives, including six women and seven children and teenagers, in addition to four Thai citizens.

In the last few weeks, Israelis have taken to the streets every weekend in their thousands to put pressure on Netanyahu, saying the government was ignoring their pleas to prioritize bringing the captives home.

The recent event in Tel Aviv also marked 50 days since Israel began its offensive in Gaza.

The protesters, wearing tags printed with the names of the captives, also gathered in front of one of Netanyahu’s private residences, demanded his removal from office, and held him responsible for the repercussions of the Israeli aggression on the Strip.

Israel unleashed a genocidal war on October 7 in response to the territory’s resistance groups Operation al-Aqsa Storm into the occupied territories.

The latest aggression against Gaza killed nearly 15,000 Palestinians, two-thirds of whom are women and children.

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