'You are pharaoh, slayer of firstborns': Israelis demand Netanyahu's ouster

Israeli citizens have continued to rally in the streets of Jerusalem for the fourth consecutive night, demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, resignation of PM Netanyahu and release of Israeli captives. (Photo/Reuters)

Thousands of Israelis have rallied for a fourth straight night demanding that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government resign, dubbing their country's leader as a "traitor".

With anger at Israel's handling of the war growing, Tuesday's protest saw thousands gathered in front of the country's parliament, with hostage families and former prime minister Ehud Barak blaming Netanyahu for the October 7 "disaster" and demanding an election.

"You are a pharaoh, a slayer of firstborns — 240 were kidnapped on your watch — it's your fault," declared Einav Zangauker, whose son Matan is one of the 134 still being held in Gaza by the resistance group Hamas.

"You failed on October 7 in every possible way," she declared, and now "you are an obstacle to a hostage deal".

Hostage families are furious at Netanyahu, who they say has not really pushed to have them freed.

They have allied themselves with anti-government protesters who marched for nine months last year to thwart his controversial judicial reforms that they say threatened democracy.

At Tuesday's rally in front of parliament, many accused Israel's longest-serving leader of trying to use the war to prolong his hold on power.

Stand-off outside PM's home


"The basic duty of the state is to ensure the return of the abducted. I was naive, I didn't realise that our prime minister is not interested in bringing them back because of political considerations," Zangauker said.

Former premier Barak said if Netanyahu launches a ground invasion on Rafah, the "hostages will return in coffins. The one who abandoned them on October 7 is now sacrificing them on the altar of absolute victory."

He called for snap elections, saying "the man responsible" for the calamity should be "removed from the steering wheel".

Zangauker said Netanyahu had tried to blacken the hostage families for protesting while the country was at war.

"You call us traitors when you are the traitor, a traitor to your people, to the State of Israel."

Some 3,000 of the protesters later marched to Netanyahu's home to shout slogans demanding he resign, with police saying some "rioters" tried to rip away barriers outside.

Genocide in Gaza

Hamas resistance group is estimated to be holding more than 130 Israelis hostage while Israel is holding more than 9,100 Palestinians in its jails.

Israel has waged a deadly military invasion on Gaza since the October 7 cross-fence raid by Hamas.

Israel has killed more than 32,800 Palestinians have since been killed and 75,300 others wounded amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, o n the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85 percent of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 percent of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which last week asked it to do more to prevent famine in Gaza. Israel is carrying out genocide of besieged Palestinians in Gaza, according to recent report by a leading UN expert.


Source: TRT