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Israel detains 33 in anti-regime protests after police clashes with protesters

Israeli police detain a protester during a demonstration by anti-regime protesters in the central city of Tel Aviv on June 8, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Clashes have erupted between the Israeli police and anti-regime protesters in Tel Aviv and across the occupied territories resulting in dozens of arrests with the demonstrators calling for new elections and a prisoner exchange agreement with the Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

Israeli media reported that protesters took to the streets of Tel Aviv and several other cities on Saturday night, calling for the removal of prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the return of captives held in Gaza.

The protests broke just hours after the Israeli military announced that four captives were retrieved during an attack on Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, which resulted in the killing of at least 210 Palestinians, most of them women and children.  

In Tel Aviv, police said that 33 protesters were arrested following multiple clashes with police.

The police also used water cannon on the protesters and several arrests were also made by the police on horseback as they tackled demonstrators to the ground, according to witness accounts quoted by Israeli media.

 “We’re losing everything, crops are being burnt, tourism is collapsing, the small businesses that are still operating are collapsing, and worst of all, our communities are collapsing,” said one Israeli settler from a settlement in northern occupied Palestine was quoted as saying.

In al-Quds, hundreds of demonstrators staged a sit-in at the intersection outside the prime minister’s residence, voicing their support for a captive-prisoner exchange agreement and denouncing the war on Gaza through chants.

Protesters also gathered in Caesarea, the hometown of Netanyahu, demanding early elections and the release of the remaining captives.

Public pressure on Netanyahu is mounting as negotiations for a truce to release the captives have stalled with Israel refusing to accept any ceasefire deals, having failed to achieve any of its declared war objectives. 

Israel’s war on Gaza has so far killed more than 36,801 people, mostly women and children, and injured 83,680 others, according to the Gaza health ministry.

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