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Israel: 9 arrested as anti-Netanyahu rallies continue despite gatherings ban amid COVID lockdown

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Nine people were arrested and more were fined, as large crowds of protesters gathered outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, on Saturday, continuing to call for his resignation.

“I came to protest against corruption, and I protest on every occasion I can, as I think that Netanyahu has caused huge damage to the citizens and to your country,” said one of the protesters.

“He thought that he will kill the protests just by sending people home,” said one other protester. “It obviously just caused the exact opposite,” she added.

A nation-wide lockdown intended to curb the coronavirus bans protesters from gathering, as Israeli residents must remain within one kilometre (0.62 miles) of from their place of residence. Restrictions on gatherings passed by the Israeli parliament on September 29 ban rallies of more than 20 people amid the COVID-19 lockdown which was re-imposed following a surge in infections in the country.

*SOUNDBITES*

SOT, Ilan, Protester (Hebrew): “I came to protest against corruption, and I protest on every occasion I can, as I think that Netanyahu has caused huge damage to the citizens and to your country.”

SOT, Dafna, Protester: “I think it’s our duty, because we are people who believe in the unity of our people and in Israel. And the people in Israel want something different. And if you want something different, you can’t sit at home and just expect it to happen.”

SOT, Dafna, Protester: “I think that all these attempts were a great failure, just like his (Netanyahu’s) administration. Because, at first he wanted to make it political, and there are people from the right-wing and the left-wing, and from the centre, protesting here week after week. Second thing, he thought that he will kill the protests just by sending people home and doing something that is not properly, let’s say, respected by the law. But, he limited it to our houses and then more and more people just came out of their houses, because they understood that there is a real danger to democracy and just wen out of their houses to the nearest either junction or bridge and protested with all their families and their neighbours and friends. So it obviously just caused the exact opposite.”

Video ID: 20201018-004

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