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11 arrested at first major anti-Netanyahu protest since start of new lockdown

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Police arrested 11 anti-government demonstrators in Jerusalem on Sunday night during the first major protest since Israel started its second nationwide lockdown to curb its surging coronavirus outbreak.

Several thousand people gathered for a weekly protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside his official residence in Jerusalem. Several hundred more protested outside his private residence in the seaside town of Caesarea.

While protests are exempt from the new restrictions on movement, gatherings, and business, which came into force Friday before the Rosh Hashanah holiday, police announced new social distancing guidelines for demonstrations on Friday.

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Police said that demonstrators would be required to divide into “capsules” of 20 or fewer people, with social distance within and between the capsules, without specifying how that would happen.

Sunday night’s protest was somewhat smaller than other demonstrations in recent weeks, with considerably more space between demonstrators. Still, despite the lockdown and the holiday, thousands arrived outside Netanyahu’s residence to protest.

“We don’t believe in the lockdown. It harms the country far more than it benefits us. We came to protest specifically for this reason,” said demonstrator Gil Snapir from the central city of Ramat Gan.

Ahead of the rally, police stretched out yellow barricade tape in an attempt to divide the intersection into capsules and enforce social distancing. Police did not physically enforce the measures as the new guidelines are........

© The Times of Israel

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