There are protests taking place Saturday in Israel, but for two different reasons.
In one set of protests, the streets of Tel Aviv are being flooded with thousands of Israelis in protest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The protesters are calling for Netanyahu to resign over alleged corruption. It’s the fourth consecutive week of protests in central Tel Aviv, with Israeli police having to handle several thousand people in the latest protests against the leader.
Hundreds more gathered in Jerusalem for the first time in anti-corruption demonstrations as well. The anti-corruption rally in Jerusalem had protesters giving speeches headlined by former defense minister Moshe Yaalon and holding signs reading “not right, not left, just straight.”
Netanyahu has been questioned by authorities at least seven times for two corruption allegations. The four-term Israeli leader is suspected of being involved in bribery, fraud and breach of trust, though he has denied any wrongdoing.
In a separate display of outbursts, a group of Palestinian protesters, some dressed in Santa Claus costumes, confronted Israeli Defense Force soldiers and border police in Bethlehem on Saturday, as protests against US President Donald Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel continue.
The festive-themed demonstration marched towards the northern entrance of the West Bank barrier on the outskirts of the city, where the protesters encountered Israeli border police.
Footage shows protesters waving Palestinian flags and jingling bells in the name of peace during the holiday season. One Santa can be seen carrying a poster which reads: “All we want for Christmas is Jerusalem and Justice” After scuffles broke out between the two sides, Israeli forces tried to disperse the crowd with tear gas. The status of Jerusalem is a contentious issue in the Middle East peace process. Israel has always claimed the Holy City as its capital, while Palestinians consider annexed East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
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