Anti-government protests in Israel draw thousands as frustrations grow over hostage crisis

Thousands of people protested in parts of Israel on Saturday to demand a change in government and the release of the remaining Israeli hostages in Gaza.

In the coastal town of Caesarea, protesters rallied in the rain before marching toward one of the private residences of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Some were seen calling for the prime minister’s removal, chanting, “Guilty, guilty, guilty!”

In Tel Aviv, protesters gathered at Habima Square to call for immediate elections in what was the third weekend in a row of demonstrations directly targeting Netanyahu and his government.

Many waved Israeli flags and held up signs with images of the Israeli hostages, calling on the government to “bring them home.”

The government of Israel declares in its actions that it is not competent and that the good of the state and its citizens are not at the top of its mind,” the protesters taking part in a demonstration titled “Calling for elections now!” said in a statement announcing the protest on Saturday. 

“We will go out to demonstrate that our future depends only on us – we the people will determine our destiny!,” the said.

Pressure mounts: With more protests scheduled for next Saturday, the demonstrations are becoming a regular occurrence.

Last Spring and Summer, mass weekly protests against Netanyahu and his government occurred over planned judicial reform, but were put on hold after the brutal October 7 attack. With the anger over Netanyahu’s handling of the hostage crisis rising, such demonstrations could soon be returning.