Israeli protesters demanding end to Gaza war clash with police

Israeli protesters demanding end to Gaza war clash with police
Israeli protesters calling for a captive deal, an end to the war and the resignation of Benjamin Netanyahu clashed with police in Tel Aviv.
2 min read
The protests calling for an end to Israel's war on Gaza and the release of captives are becoming larger and more frequent [Getty]

Scuffles between Israeli police and protesters erupted in Tel Aviv on Saturday after thousands gathered to demonstrate against the government and demand that it bring back the captives being held by Hamas in Gaza.

Meanwhile, a small U.S. military vessel and what appeared to be a strip of docking area washed up on a beach near the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, not far from the U.S.-built pier on which the Israeli military said humanitarian aid is moving into the Palestinian territory.

Also on Saturday, Israeli bombardments were reported in northern and central Gaza.

Some protesters in Tel Aviv carried photos of the female soldiers who appeared in a video earlier in the week. Some held banners reading “Stop the war” and “Help.” They called on the government to reach a deal to release the dozens of hostages still in captivity.

The protesters also called for the resignation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and demanded new elections.

“We all saw the video, we could not stay at home after the government abandoned all these people,” said Hilit Sagi, from the group “Women Protest for the Return of All Hostages.”

Divisions among Israelis have deepened over how Netanyahu has handled Israel's war on Gaza.

“Basically they are not doing enough in order for the hostages to come back, either with military force, with (a) hostages’ deal, negotiating. Nothing is being done,” said Snir Dahan, uncle of hostage Carmel Gat, still in captivity in Gaza.

Earlier in the week, the bodies of three captives killed were recovered from Gaza, Israel’s army said Friday. 

Around half of the 250 captives taken by Hamas and other militants have been freed, most in swaps for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel during a weeklong cease-fire in November.

Netanyahu’s government has faced increasing pressure, both at home and abroad, to stop the war and allow humanitarian aid into the enclave that is home to 2.3 million Palestinians, almost 80% of whom have been displaced.