Protesters march in Israel to demand hostage deal

Anti-government protesters marched July 7 across Israel's major cities, aiming to pressure the authorities to instate a ceasefire in Gaza and reach a hostage deal with Hamas. Demonstrators blocked roads and gathered in front of the homes of government officials. The protesters marched to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, calling for immediate elections to replace his government. Simultaneously, thousands assembled in Tel Aviv, where Einav Zangauker, whose son is being held in Gaza, staged a symbolic protest by isolating herself in a cage suspended from a bridge over Begin Road. Addressing the crowd below, Zangauker described the entire region as being held hostage by Netanyahu and Yahya Sinwar, Hamas' leader in Gaza.

At Kibbutz Or Haner, located near the border with Gaza, demonstrators raised a black balloon to commemorate each person killed in the attack and yellow balloon for every hostage still held in Gaza.

The demonstrations came soon after Prime Minister Netanyahu set forth a list of demands he described as non-negotiable ahead of the resumption of hostage negotiations in Cairo and Doha. The demands included provisions ensuring Israel's ability to resume military operations if necessary, a stance that has drawn criticism from both within Israel and among international mediators. Critics note that Netanyahu risks undermining the efforts towards achieving a ceasefire and securing the release of hostages.

At the same time, Hamas has reportedly given initial approval to a phased ceasefire proposal for Gaza backed by the US, dropping its demand for Israel to commit immediately to ending the conflict.

From Jurist, July 8. Used with permission.

See our last report on the protests in Israel.