Protesters Call for Netanyahu to Leave Office

Thousands of Israelis filled the streets outside the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, in Jerusalem on Sunday to call for early elections, in one of the most significant demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.

Sunday’s protest in Jerusalem got underway just one day after thousands took to the streets of Tel Aviv in a separate anti-government protest, and as Mr. Netanyahu faces mounting anger from Israelis who believe he has put his political survival ahead of the broader interests of the Israeli people. It also comes as he goes into surgery to treat a hernia Sunday night.

The protest in Jerusalem is expected to last four days, with some demonstrators planning to stay in a cluster of tents near Parliament. On Sunday, several carried signs calling for Mr. Netanyahu’s “immediate removal” while others held posters calling for elections, saying “those who destroyed can’t be the ones to fix.”

Elad Dreifuss, a 25-year-old student, said protesting against the government in the midst of wartime was a difficult decision. But, he added, “if the government can’t live up to its responsibility, something has to change.”

Many Israelis have refrained from rallying against the government in the middle of Israel’s military campaign against Hamas.

“We held back for six months,” said Michal Begin, a physician from Jerusalem. “At the beginning, there was a sense that we had to be united for the sake of the war effort.”

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