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Antigovernment protests were expected to continue in Jerusalem through Wednesday.Credit…Ahmad Gharabli/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Protests against Netanyahu intensified

Thousands of people gathered outside Israel’s Parliament yesterday in one of the largest demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since the start of the war in Gaza.

He has faced increasing pressure, abroad and at home, over Israel’s handling of the war, and many Israelis are calling for him to resign. Close allies like the U.S. have criticized the war’s heavy civilian toll and have urged Israel to allow more aid into Gaza. And many Israelis have demanded that Netanyahu prioritize the release of the hostages held by Hamas as part of a cease-fire deal. Thousands demonstrated against Netanyahu’s government in Tel Aviv on Saturday.

The protests in Jerusalem, which were expected to continue through Wednesday, came as in-person talks about a potential cease-fire resumed in Cairo.

Context: Protests against Netanyahu over his plan to overhaul the judiciary largely subsided after the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack on Israel, but public dissatisfaction with the war has now driven Israelis back into the streets.

Another issue: Netanyahu also faces a dispute over a bill to extend ultra-Orthodox Jews’ exemption from compulsory military service, with his right-wing governing coalition at stake. If the state does not extend the exemption, ultra-Orthodox lawmakers might leave the coalition; if it does, secular members could walk out.


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