Israeli cops use water cannons amid violent clashes

Israeli cops use water cannons amid violent clashes as thousands stage protest near PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s house over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic

  • At least 55 were arrested as clashes broke out overnight in central Jerusalem
  • The protest near prime minister’s residence began around sundown Thursday 
  • Four large trucks sprayed water cannons back and forth at the protesters 

Israeli police have used water cannons to disperse protesters in central Jerusalem.

At least 55 were arrested as clashes broke out overnight after thousands staged a protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Israelis have held a series of demonstrations in recent weeks calling on Netanyahu to resign, citing his trial on corruption charges and his fractious unity government’s poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Israeli police officers arrest a demonstrator during a protest against Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his residence in Jerusalem, early on Friday

Protesters hold placards during a demonstration against the Israeli prime minister outside his official residence in Jerusalem

Police use a water cannon to disperse demonstrators during a protest against Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his residence in Jerusalem, early Friday, July 24

The protest near the prime minister’s residence began around sundown on Thursday and was initially largely peaceful. 

A smaller counterprotest in support of Netanyahu was held nearby, with the two camps separated by metal barricades and a large police presence.

Police say they moved in to disperse the protesters when they tried to stage a procession through the city. 

 The protest near the prime minister’s residence began around sundown on Thursday and was initially largely peaceful

Security forces take a demonstrator into custody during a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

People gather to stage a protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s indictment on corruption charges outside the Prime Minister’s office

Police scuffled with demonstrators before four large trucks roared into action, spraying water cannons back and forth, scattering the protesters.

At times, it appeared the trucks were spraying protesters from behind as they tried to leave the area peacefully.

Israel imposed a general lockdown when the first coronavirus cases appeared in March and by May had largely succeeded in containing the outbreak. 

Police scuffled with demonstrators before four large trucks roared into action, spraying water cannons back and forth, scattering the protesters

At times, it appeared the trucks were spraying protesters from behind as they tried to leave the area peacefully

A protester is detained by security forces during the protest overnight in Jerusalem 

But then it moved quickly to lift virtually all restrictions, and in the following weeks cases surged.

The country has reported a total of more than 57,000 cases and at least 442 deaths. More than 24,000 patients have recovered.

A unity government formed in May following three inconclusive elections in less than a year was supposed to prioritize the pandemic. Instead, it has been plagued by infighting and unable to agree on clear policies to combat the pandemic.

Demonstrators are sprayed with water cannons during the protest against Netanyahu’s handling of the coronavirus crisis 

The country has reported a total of more than 57,000 cases and at least 442 deaths. More than 24,000 patients have recovered

Netanyahu meanwhile faces charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust over a series of long-running corruption investigations. Above, a protester is detained 

Netanyahu meanwhile faces charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust over a series of long-running corruption investigations. 

Critics say he is more focused on escaping legal accountability than on containing the pandemic. 

Many have speculated he intends to call yet another election, allegations he dismissed as “absurd” in a Thursday press conference.

At the same conference, held as the protests were underway, he called on demonstrators not to clash with police, saying it would “lead to anarchy.”

Critics say he is more focused on escaping legal accountability than on containing the pandemic. Above, a woman is detained during the protest overnight 

Security forces intervene during a protest against Israeli Prime Minister

A protester wearing a mask is detained by security forces early on Friday morning 

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