IP - Tens of thousands protested Saturday in several cities in Israel, including Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem, to demand Netanyahu's resignation, early elections, and the hostage swap deal with Hamas.

Iran Press/ West Asia: Demonstrations were also held in Caesarea, Haifa, and Beer Sheva.

Demonstrators and families of hostages protested near the Israel War Ministry in Tel Aviv. 

Protesters demanded immediate early elections and held the government responsible for not returning hostages from Gaza.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid addressed the rally in Paris Square in Haifa. “This government is not the state. This government is a disaster for the country,” he said. “They will not convince me that there is no alternative, and that this terrible and extremist government is the best thing this country can offer its citizens.”

Former Chief of Staff Dan Halutz also spoke in Haifa.

"Netanyahu is not interested in the return of the hostages because it heralds the end of his rule.”

“They (the hostages) were abandoned six months ago, and Israel did not put an offer on the table to pay everything in return for their release,” he said. “The absolute victory promised by Netanyahu will not happen, and there has been no war in Gaza for over three months. When there is no road, you will never reach your destination.”

Police dispersed the marchers.

Israel has been witnessing almost daily protests demanding Netanyahu to hasten reaching an agreement with Palestinian factions in Gaza and to hold early elections.

Hamas accuses Netanyahu of "stubbornness" and a lack of desire to reach an agreement. The group has insisted on ending the onslaught in Gaza, withdrawal of the Israeli army, allowing the return of displaced residents and the entry of sufficient aid into the enclave.

Flouting the International Court of Justice’s provisional ruling, Israel continues its onslaught on the Gaza Strip where at least 34,049 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and 76,901 injured since Oct. 7, according to Palestinian health authorities.

The Israeli onslaught has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.


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