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Jerusalem sees large anti-government protest for fourth night

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Thousands of Israelis protested for the fourth day in a row against the government and in favour of an agreement to release the hostages held in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli media reported that the demonstrators gathered with torches in their hands near the parliament building in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening. They also demanded new elections. In a speech, the mother of a kidnapped man accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of standing in the way of a hostage deal.

Clashes between police officers and demonstrators later broke out.

According to police, several people tried to march to Netanyahu’s private home and break through security barriers. One person succeeded in doing so, but no one managed to reach the residence.

Israeli media reported that the security forces had violently dispersed some demonstrators, including the daughter-in-law of a man who had been abducted to the Gaza Strip.

Large anti-government demonstrations have been held in Jerusalem since Sunday, and protestors have also set up 100 tents in front of the parliament as part of the multi-day protest campaign.

On Saturday, people also demonstrated against Netanyahu’s leadership in Tel Aviv, Haifa and other cities. Relatives of the hostages accuse him of having no serious interest in securing the release of Israelis being held by Hamas inside the Gaza strip.

Israel’s conservative head of government rejects the criticism, and recently insisted he feels obliged to bring all hostages home. A new election, on the other hand, would paralyse negotiations on the release of further hostages and “bring about an end to the war before the goals have been achieved,” according to Netanyahu.

The US, Qatar and Egypt have been mediating between Israel and Hamas for weeks in order to achieve a new ceasefire and an exchange of hostages kidnapped from Israel for Palestinian prisoners. Israel estimates that almost 100 hostages held by the Islamist organization are still alive.

Israelis block roads during a protest in Jerusalem against the right-wing religious government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The protesters called for the government to resign and urged a fresh election and a quick deal to release the hostages held by the Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas. Ilia Yefimovich/dpa

Israelis block roads during a protest in Jerusalem against the right-wing religious government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The protesters called for the government to resign and urged a fresh election and a quick deal to release the hostages held by the Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas. Ilia Yefimovich/dpa

Israelis block roads during a protest in Jerusalem against the right-wing religious government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The protesters called for the government to resign and urged a fresh election and a quick deal to release the hostages held by the Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas. Ilia Yefimovich/dpa

Israelis block roads during a protest in Jerusalem against the right-wing religious government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The protesters called for the government to resign and urged a fresh election and a quick deal to release the hostages held by the Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas. Ilia Yefimovich/dpa

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