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Violence erupts as Israeli police clash with anti-regime protesters

Israeli mounted police attempt to disperse an anti-regime demonstration by relatives and supporters of Israeli captives, who are calling for their release, in Tel Aviv on June 22, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

Clashes have broken out between the Israeli police and anti-regime protesters in Tel Aviv and across the occupied territories, with demonstrators demanding new elections and a prisoner exchange deal with the Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

Tens of thousands of Israelis in Tel Aviv and al-Quds joined in a massive wave of protests against the regime on Saturday night.

The demonstrators railed against prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet's refusal to negotiate with the Palestinian resistance group toward enabling the release of the Israeli captives held in Gaza.

After the main rally ended, a group of protesters remained on site, blocking the road by setting tires ablaze.

Police on horseback were captured on video pushing through crowds of protesters, causing chaos as some individuals were shoved around while others attempted to intervene and prevent further harm. Three protesters were arrested.

Former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin slammed Netanyahu during his speech at the protest in Tel Aviv, denouncing him as “the worst and most failed prime minister” in the history of the regime. He called for elections at the earliest possible opportunity.

In al-Quds, thousands demonstrated outside the prime minister’s residence, voicing their support for a captive-prisoner exchange agreement and denouncing the war on Gaza through chants.

The organizers called it the largest Saturday night protest there since October 7. However, the exact count of attendees remains undisclosed by officials.

The protests are being held every week since October 7 after Israel launched its genocidal war against Gaza with settlers voicing their dissatisfaction with the regime’s war management.

Calls growing for Netanyahu’s removal

The family members of Israeli captives in a statement during a press conference on Saturday said that no prisoner swap deal with Palestinian factions in Gaza could be made unless Netanyahu is removed from the regime’s leadership.

Also in al-Quds protesters led by the families of Israeli captives spearheaded a protest, demanding swift action, early elections, and slamming Netanyahu’s administration for neglecting towns located north of the occupied territories amid Hezbollah’s counterattacks.

The demonstrations came after a “week of disruption,” with protesters rallying, blocking highways, and gathering in front of the Israeli parliament, Knesset, calling for elections.

Some 250 Israelis were taken captive on October 7 last year during a historic retaliatory operation by Gaza’s resistance movements against the usurping entity. The regime responded by launching the war that has so far killed at least 37,551 Palestinians, mostly women and children.

Israel’s relentless offensive in Gaza has drawn widespread international condemnation, as it defiantly disregards a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire.

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