'Elections now': Protesters block Israeli Parliament amid growing dissent against Netanyahu

Israel-Hamas Conflict: The protesters, encompassing a diverse political spectrum, accused the government of neglecting the 132 hostages still held in Gaza since the October 7 Hamas attack.

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Israel-Hamas Conflict: In a show of resurgent opposition, around 100 demonstrators blocked the entrance to the Knesset in Jerusalem, calling for new elections and expressing discontent with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of the Gaza war. The protesters, encompassing a diverse political spectrum, accused the government of neglecting the 132 hostages still held in Gaza since the October 7 Hamas attack.

Police Disperse Protesters

Authorized by police, the protest initially unfolded peacefully. However, tensions escalated when demonstrators moved beyond designated areas, prompting law enforcement to forcibly disperse them. Despite the confrontation, there were no arrests during the incident.

Diverse Opposition Voices

The protest showcased a broad opposition base, including former Likud supporters and activists critical of Israel's presence in the West Bank. The varied voices unified in demanding new elections and expressing frustration with Netanyahu's government.

Growing Dissent in Recent Weeks

While massive protests initially waned after the October 7 Hamas attack, recent weeks have witnessed a resurgence in demonstrations across the country. The focus has shifted to the government's perceived failure in securing the release of hostages, with protesters labeling coalition parties as "traitors."

Leadership Change Calls Intensify

Calls for an election gained momentum during rallies across the nation on Saturday night. The opposition, disillusioned with the government's response to the hostage crisis, intensified its demand for leadership changes.

Opposition Leaders Speak Out

Merav Michaeli, outgoing head of the Labor party, joined the demonstration, emphasizing the government's primary obligation to secure the release of hostages. She later announced a no-confidence motion, citing the government's inadequate focus on the issue.

Coalition Parties Reject Political Shows

In response to the protest, the heads of coalition parties released a joint statement, refusing to participate in "political shows during wartime." They rejected debates and votes on motions, asserting their commitment to focusing on the ongoing conflict.

Public Discontent with Netanyahu

A December survey revealed that only 15% of Israelis wish for Netanyahu to stay in office post the Gaza war. The discontent is palpable, reflecting in the growing opposition and demonstrations calling for immediate political changes.

Tent Symbolism and Hostage Families' Message

Adjacent to the protest, a tent erected by hostage families emphasized their anguish. The tent displayed Israel's Declaration of Independence and a sign holding Netanyahu accountable for the hostages' plight, stating, "Bibi, the blood of the murdered is on your hands!