Skip to content

Protesters Block Tel Aviv Highway; Fifteen Arrested

Protests follow the resignation of the city’s police commander Ami Eshed citing political interference

TEL AVIV-YAFO, Israel — Fifteen people were arrested on Wednesday night in Tel Aviv after protesters blocked Tel Aviv’s Ayalon Highway following the resignation of the city’s police commander. Dozens more were arrested in other protests around the country.

It took police several hours to clear the main north-south route through the city as hundreds of anti-government demonstrators caused massive traffic jams, also blocking Kaplan Street. They lit fires, waved Israeli flags and chanted “democracy.” Officers used water cannons to extinguish the blazes.

“Tel Aviv District Commander Ami Eshed announced his resignation on Wednesday, citing political interference by members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, who he claimed wanted the police to exercise a more forceful response to the ongoing anti-judicial reform demonstrations,” said JNS.

Two women were hurt during protests in Jerusalem, and four people were arrested after police declared the gathering illegal. Water cannons and mounted police were deployed to disperse the protesters. Four more protesters were arrested early on Thursday at Hasira Junction near Herzliya.

Israeli police officers arrest protesters during a demonstration against the Israeli government on July 5, 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel. The protests followed an announcement from Tel Aviv’s District Police Commander Ami Eshed that he was resigning from the police force after being ousted from his role by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, allegedly on political grounds. AMIR LEVY/GETTY IMAGES.

A man was arrested on Wednesday night after driving through a group of protesters on the Ayalon Highway. No injuries were reported.

10 people were also arrested during a demonstration outside the Tel Aviv police station.

“The responsibility for the chaos in the Ayalon lanes lies with the law enforcement system and the police who lost control in the face of the anarchists who block the Ayalon again and again and again,” said Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich in a  tweet. 

There is no reason that justifies the selective enforcement that manifests itself in the use of large forces and arrests at right-wing, ultra-Orthodox, settler or Ethiopian demonstrations compared to the left-wing demonstrations that include lighting bonfires and blocking major roads without any response. This is not a democracy!

“And this is exactly why we are promoting the strengthening of rights and freedoms and first of all the right to equality, because this is the way to strengthen Israeli democracy.”

Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate

Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager

“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”

Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.

Check out our free email newsletters

Recommended from our partners