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Israelis demand Netanyahu’s resignation over Gaza war

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Thousands of Israelis on Saturday staged a protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government over the ongoing war in Gaza.

The ongoing Gaza war was triggered by the October 7, 2023 attack on Israel by the Palestinian militant group.

The militants have killed some 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and took some 250 more hostage.

In Palestine, at least 32,500 have been killed as Israel responded by targeting densely populated Gaza with massive airstrikes and launching a ground operation in the sealed-off coastal area since October.

Some 110 hostages were released in exchange for some 400 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails as part of a temporary truce agreement brokered by Qatar, the United States, and Egypt in November.

In Tel Aviv, demonstrators called for early elections as well as the release of the remaining hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Protests also took place in other cities, including Jerusalem and Haifa.

READ ALSO: UN Commission, WHO claim more than 30,000 killed in Gaza war

In Tel Aviv, protesters clashed with police with 16 people arrested.

In Jerusalem, hundreds of protesters broke through a barrier near Netanyahu’s official residence.

Opponents of the government are planning major demonstrations in Jerusalem from Sunday onwards, which are to last for several days.

They also demanded the resignation of the government.

A former hostage, whose husband is still being held in Gaza, addressed the demonstration in Tel Aviv and asked Netanyahu to “Bring them home!”

The woman urged the prime minister to give the Israeli negotiating team a “broad mandate” in talks on an agreement to release the remaining hostages in return for a ceasefire and a release of Palestinian prisoners.

“Don’t come home without a deal, bring our loved ones back,” she said.

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