On the evening of July 5, thousands of protesters blocked Tel Aviv’s main highway, the Ayalon Highway, as well as major roads and intersections in other cities in Israel after the resignation of the police chief of the Tel Aviv district, Amichai Eshed. In the Israeli capital, protesters lit fires and clashed with mounted police, security forces responded with water cannons. Details on the protests and their causes can be found in the Russian media material.
In March 2023, in the midst of a demonstration against judicial reform, the Israeli Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir announcementthat Ashed will be promoted to an administrative position as head of the police training department in a series of planned appointments. Israeli media wrote that in closed meetings, Ben-Gvir expressed his displeasure with police actions during the protests. Israel’s attorney general delayed Eshed’s transfer to another post.
On the evening of July 5, Eshed announced his resignation from the police, explaining that he had been removed from his post for political reasons. According to the police chief, he was expected to use “unreasonable force” during protests against judicial reform.
“With my head held high, I am paying an exorbitant personal price for my choice to prevent a civil war. <…> We could eliminate Ayalon in minutes at the cost of broken heads and bones. One could fill Ichilov’s intensive care unit (Israel’s largest clinic – Russian media notes) after each protest,”- estimate Esheda Haaretz.
The National Security Minister, commenting on the speech, said Eshed’s remarks “indicate that a uniformed political figure served in the police.”
During a briefing by the police chief, protests erupted in several Israeli cities. The largest rally took place in Tel Aviv, where protesters blocked the Ayalon highway for several hours. People took to the streets with national flags, lit bonfires, danced and set off fireworks. The police responded with water cannons. transmits Associated Press (AP).
By words Police source Haaretz said protests took place in at least 30 locations across the country, including Jerusalem, Beersheba, Haifa, Rehovot, Nahalal and Raanan.
In Jerusalem, protesters marched to the residence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and attempted to break through police barriers. In Tel Aviv, a car tried to ram into a crowd and knocked down one person. The driver was arrested and released Thursday morning.
During the protests, at least 25 people were arrested, including 15 in the capital, writes Haaretz. 14 people were taken to Ichilov hospital, six of them had eye injuries from water cannon shots, writing The Times of Israel, citing hospital data. One patient had to be operated on.
On the morning of July 6, protests resumed. In Tel Aviv, around 200 people blocked a stretch of Highway 4, one of Israel’s longest and busiest.
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