JERUSALEM (AP) — 1000’s of Israelis demonstrated exterior the official residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening, resuming the weekly protest towards the Israeli chief after emergency restrictions imposed as a part of a coronavirus lockdown had been lifted.

The protests had been curtailed final month after Israel imposed new lockdown measures in response to a brand new virus outbreak. The emergency rules blocked Israelis from touring to Jerusalem to protest and allowed individuals solely to attend smaller demonstrations inside one kilometer (half a mile) of their dwelling.

The protesters gathered in central Jerusalem and marched to Netanyahu’s official residence, holding banners calling on him to go and shouting “Revolution!” Many blew horns and pounded on drums, whereas others hoisted Israeli flags. Scores of smaller demonstrations had been held throughout the nation, and organizers claimed some 260,000 individuals participated nationwide.

The protesters say Netanyahu should resign, calling him unfit to guide the nation whereas he’s on trial for corruption fees. Additionally they say he has mishandled the virus disaster, which has despatched unemployment hovering.

Netanyahu is on trial for fraud, breach of belief and accepting bribes for his function in a collection of scandals. He has denied the fees and stated he’s the sufferer of a conspiracy by overzealous police and prosecutors and a liberal media.

Israeli media reported a number of incidents of violence by far-right counter-demonstrators. Within the northern metropolis of Haifa, police stated they arrested three individuals suspected of utilizing pepper spray on demonstrators.

Earlier this yr, Israel managed to include the virus outbreak by sealing its borders and imposing a strict lockdown. However a fast reopening of the financial system led to an increase in circumstances, forcing a second lockdown.

Well being officers say the brand new restrictions have introduced the an infection fee down, and Israel is ready to start easing the lockdown on Sunday by reopening daycare facilities and a few companies. A full reopening is predicted to take a number of months.

Unemployment, together with individuals on open-ended furloughs, has soared to just about 25%, in keeping with authorities figures. Lots of the protesters embody enterprise homeowners, entrepreneurs and staff who misplaced their jobs.