Israeli police disperse protesters with water cannon amid freezing temperature


Israeli demonstrators calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation over corruption charges were dispersed with water cannon by the police on Saturday, a method rarely deployed by authorities.

Winter temperature at Jerusalem was about 10 degrees Celsius when the crowd of hundreds was sprayed.

The protesters have been gathering every week near Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem for over seven months now despite COVID-19 lockdown policy which bans demonstrations.

In a statement, the police accused some protesters of unruly behaviour, including throwing objects and trying to break through a police barricade. It said one officer was lightly hurt, and several protesters were arrested.

The protesters say Netanyahu cannot serve as prime minister when he is on trial for charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three separate cases.

They also accuse him of mismanaging the coronavirus crisis, with unemployment in double digits after a series of nationwide lockdowns.

The country is in the midst of its third lockdown, despite one of the world’s most successful vaccination campaigns.

Israel is preparing to hold new elections March 23. (Source: Mainichi Japan)