Israel protests erupt in Tel Aviv as Netanyahu’s crisis deepens

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Mass protests erupted in Israel Sunday night as thousands of people took to the streets in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem amid a worsening political crisis in the country.

Israelis took to the streets after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired his defense minister over his opposition to a planned judicial overhaul.

Protesters rally against the Israeli government’s judicial reform in Tel Aviv, Israel on Monday. (Nir Elias/Reuters)

Waving Israeli flags and chanting “democratia,” protesters could be seen blocking streets and bridges, including the main Ayalon Highway.

Protesters clash with police during a rally against the Israeli government's judicial reform in Tel Aviv on Monday.
Protesters clash with police during a rally against the Israeli government’s judicial reform in Tel Aviv on Monday. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters lit several fires on the main highway in Tel Aviv, their acrid, black smoke billowing into the sky, partly obscuring some of the city’s iconic skyscrapers. Demonstrators also gathered beside the highway, burning scrap metal and wood with almost no police around.

Members of Israeli security forces stand guard as anti-government protesters attend a demonstration after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the dismissal of Defence Minister Yoav Galant, in Tel Aviv on Monday.
Members of Israeli security forces stand guard as anti-government protesters attend a demonstration after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the dismissal of Defence Minister Yoav Galant, in Tel Aviv on Monday. (Nir Elias/Reuters)

Protests had thinned out by around 2 a.m. local time on Monday in Tel Aviv. CNN’s crew on the ground saw about half a dozen police cars speeding toward where the protesters were and live pictures from the scene showed security forces firing water cannons on protestors still gathered.

Israeli mounted police disperse anti-government protesters in Tel Aviv, on Monday.
Israeli mounted police disperse anti-government protesters in Tel Aviv, on Monday. (Ilia Yefimovich/picture-alliance/dpa/AP)

A police spokesperson in the city told CNN police were preparing for the dispersal of the protesters from southbound Ayalon near the Hashalom interchange and called on protesters to leave the area and evacuate the road.

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