Anti-Netanyahu Protests in Israel Turn Ugly
The by-now regular Saturday night protests near Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s official Jerusalem residence turned ugly Saturday, as violent incidents between policemen and protesters erupted throughout the night. According to police, 30 protesters were arrested for disturbing the peace and assaulting officers. Most of them were later released. Demonstrators and journalists complained of police brutality and excessive use of force, as contrary to recent weeks, law enforcement seemed determined to disperse the crowds as quickly as possible. By far the most notable incident was when a police chief superintendent was filmed violently attacking two protesters, sprinting at them and throwing punches. Sunday morning, an investigation was opened into the conduct of the officer, who claimed in his defense that he was attempting to protect himself from demonstrators’ assaults. The protesters, again numbering approximately 15,000, called for Netanyahu’s resignation over charges of corruption and his handling of the health and economic crises. The prime minister’s trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust opened in May and is set to begin calling witnesses in four months.