Thursday, July 25, 2024

Protesters block highway in Israel after police chief forced to resign

Tens of thousands of Israelis blocked a main highway in Tel Aviv and other major roads across the country in protest against the forced resignation of the capital city’s police chief.

On Wednesday, Tel Aviv District Commander Ami Eshed announced that he was quitting the force due to political pressure from members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government over police work, reports Xinhua news agency.

Eshed said his disagreements with Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir stemmed from his refusal to use excessive force against demonstrators opposing the government’s plan to overhaul the judicial system.

Live broadcasts on Israeli TV channels showed protesters on Wednesday night blocking the Ayalon Highway, which connects Tel Aviv and other cities, and setting bonfires along the road, to express their opposition to the government’s plan to strip the Supreme Court of some powers and transfer them to the government itself.

Police clashed with the protesters and tried to disperse them with water cannons.

The highway was reopened for traffic after midnight.

At least 25 protesters have been arrested throughout the country, the police said on Thursday.

In Jerusalem, hundreds of protesters clashed with police outside Netanyahu’s private residence.

Video footage showed police pushing some protesters to the ground and using water cannons to disperse the crowd.

Simlar nationwide protests erupted in March after Netanyahu announced his decision to fire Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who raised the alarm regarding the judicial overhaul’s impact on security.

Netanyahu went on to pause the overhaul the following day and later walked back his decision to axe Gallant.



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