Thousands of Israelis gathered outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem on Saturday as anger erupted over financial corruption and his handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

Iran PressMiddle East:  “Your time is up”, read the giant letters projected onto a building at the protest site, as demonstrators called on Netanyahu to resign over what they say is his failure to protect jobs and businesses affected by the pandemic, reported by Reuters.

The protest movement has intensified in recent weeks, with critics accusing Netanyahu of being distracted by a corruption case against him, in which he denies wrongdoing.

The right-wing leader, who was sworn in for a fifth term in May after a closely-fought election, has accused the protesters of trampling democracy and the Israeli media of encouraging dissent.

Protests have stretched beyond Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem, with many Israelis gathering on bridges and highway junctions across the country.

Israel in May lifted a partial lockdown that had flattened an infection curve. But a second surge of COVID-19 cases and ensuing restrictions have seen Netanyahu’s approval ratings plunge to under 30%.

Many restrictions have since been lifted to revive business activity, but unemployment hovers at 21.5% and the economy is expected to contract by 6% in 2020.


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