Thousands of demonstrators in Israel are demanding a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas and consider Netanyahu an obstacle to reaching an agreement


Thousands of demonstrators came out on Saturday in several Israeli cities to participate in the protests demanding the conclusion of a prisoner exchange deal with the Hamas movement and the resignation of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

Thousands of Israelis began gathering in Kaplan Square, in central Tel Aviv, to participate in the central demonstration demanding the conclusion of an exchange deal.

The Israeli police closed the streets surrounding Kaplan Square with trucks to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the demonstration.

Thousands of Israelis also demonstrated near the home of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the city of Caesarea, and demanded his resignation.

The demonstrators described Netanyahu as “guilty” and demanded that the government conclude an immediate deal to release the prisoners detained in Gaza.

The areas of Rehovot, Karkur Junction, the city of Haifa, and other cities across the country also witnessed other demonstrations in which thousands of Israelis participated, demanding the conclusion of an exchange deal, according to the official Israeli broadcasting authority.

It’s expected that the pace of demonstrations will increase across the country during the following hours.

The families of the Israeli prisoners detained in Gaza said on Saturday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is obstructing reaching a deal that would lead to the release of their sons.

The Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper quoted the families of the prisoners as saying in a statement that, “Netanyahu does not leave them any choice; Netanyahu rejects the proposals, hardens his positions, and prevents an Israeli proposal in the negotiations, which is the obstacle to reaching an agreement with Hamas”.

The prisoners’ families described Netanyahu’s behavior as a crime and unimaginable behavior.

They said, “We’ve no other choice… We’ll work to replace you (Netanyahu) immediately… This is the fastest way to ensure reaching an agreement”.

The families of the prisoners called on the rest of the government members and members of the coalition (the right-wing government led by Netanyahu) to “help them save their children”.

The Israeli negotiating delegation is expected to leave, Sunday, for the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to discuss the exchange deal, before heading to Doha.
Indirect negotiations are continuing in Doha between Israel and Hamas, mediated by Qatar, Egypt, and the United States, with the aim of reaching a prisoner exchange deal and a second truce between the two parties, after the first, which lasted a week until the beginning of last December.

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