Thousands demonstrate against Israeli deal

The protesters oppose having Netanyahu as prime minister as long as he is a criminal suspect.

The protesters say the unity government agreement, which gives Netanyahu influence over the appointment of judges and legal officials, “crushes democracy” and is meant to rescue Netanyahu from his legal troubles.

Netanyahu is scheduled to face trial next month on charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes. He denies the charges.

The protest filled central Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday, although demonstrators maintained distance from each other in line with health regulations in place for weeks meant to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Protesters, wearing face masks, waved Israeli flags and signs calling out Netanyahu for corruption.

Netanyahu and former military chief Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White party, signed the power-sharing agreement after weeks of negotiations for what they termed a “national emergency” government meant to steer the country through the coronavirus outbreak.

Read the article by Shlomo Mor (AAP) in The Canberra Times.