Thousands of Israelis turn out for anti-government protest

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Israeli police use water canon to disperse protestors near the residence of the Israeli prime minister during an anti-government rally calling for early elections, in Jerusalem on Jun 17, 2024. (Photo: AFP/Menahem Kahana)

JERUSALEM: Thousands of Israelis protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government on Monday (Jun 17) over the Gaza war and failure to negotiate the release of scores of hostages still held in the Palestinian territory.

Protests against Netanyahu's handling of the war against Hamas militants have gathered pace, with tens of thousands taking to the streets of Israel's biggest city, Tel Aviv, every weekend.

But protesters travelled to Jerusalem to rally outside the Israeli parliament and Netanyahu's residence on Monday, clashing with police and urging new elections as part of what has been dubbed a week of disturbance by activists.

"Every action that he does is in the direction of the destruction of Israel. He was responsible for what happened on Oct 7," said retired civil engineer Moshe Sandarovich, 73.

"Now he is destroying everything. Even if there is war now, every day that the war goes on with him, is a worse day."

Nine people were arrested, some of them in connection with violence that left police officers "slightly injured", Israeli police said in a statement overnight.

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