Israeli Anti-government Protesters Rally in Jerusalem

Anti-government protesters gather outside the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, 17 June 2024. (EPA)
Anti-government protesters gather outside the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, 17 June 2024. (EPA)
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Israeli Anti-government Protesters Rally in Jerusalem

Anti-government protesters gather outside the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, 17 June 2024. (EPA)
Anti-government protesters gather outside the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, 17 June 2024. (EPA)

Anti-government protesters converged on Jerusalem on Monday, calling for new elections in an effort to replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who once again sits atop one of the most right-wing coalitions in Israel's history.

A wartime unity government fell apart a week ago when two centrist former generals, Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, quit, leaving Netanyahu dependent on ultra-Orthodox and far-right partners. Their hardline agenda caused a major rift in Israeli society even before Hamas' Oct. 7 assault sparked the war in Gaza.

The often weekly demonstrations have yet to change the political landscape, and Netanyahu still controls a stable majority in parliament.

Following the departures of Gantz and Eisenkot, opposition groups declared a week of street protests that include blocking highways and mass demonstrations.

By sundown, a crowd of thousands had gathered outside the Knesset, Israel's parliament, and planned to march to Netanyahu's private home in the city.

Many waved Israeli flags. Others carried signs criticizing Netanyahu's handling of pivotal issues, like promoting a divisive military draft bill that exempts ultra-Orthodox Jews from otherwise mandatory service, as well as his handling of the war with Hamas in Gaza and fighting with Lebanon's Hezbollah.

"The healing process for the country of Israel, it starts here. After last week when Benny Gantz and Eisenkot left the coalition, we are continuing this process and hopefully this government will resign soon," said protestor Oren Shvill.



Bangladesh Extends Curfew ahead of Court Hearing on Controversial Job Quotas

18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
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Bangladesh Extends Curfew ahead of Court Hearing on Controversial Job Quotas

18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa
18 July 2024, Bangladesh, Dhaka: People and police clash during a protest against the government's job quota system. Photo: Rubel Karmaker/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa

Bangladesh extended a curfew on Sunday to control violent student-led protests that have killed at least 114 people, as authorities braced for a Supreme Court hearing later in the day on government job quotas that sparked the anger.
Soldiers have been on patrol on the streets of capital Dhaka, the center of the demonstrations that spiraled into clashes between protesters and security forces, Reuters said.
Internet and text message services in Bangladesh have been suspended since Thursday, cutting the nation off as police cracked down on protesters who defied a ban on public gatherings.
A curfew ordered late on Friday has been extended to 3 p.m. (0900 GMT) on Sunday, until after the Supreme Court hearing, and will continue for an "uncertain time" following a two-hour break for people to gather supplies, local media reported.
Universities and colleges have also been closed since Wednesday.
Nationwide unrest broke out following student anger against quotas for government jobs that included reserving 30% for the families of those who fought for independence from Pakistan.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government had scrapped the quota system in 2018, but a court reinstated it last month.
The Supreme Court suspended the decision after a government appeal and will hear the case on Sunday after agreeing to bring forward a hearing scheduled for Aug. 7.
The demonstrations - the biggest since Hasina was re-elected for a fourth successive term this year - have also been fueled by high unemployment among young people, who make up nearly a fifth of the population.
The US State Department on Saturday raised its travel advisory for Bangladesh to level four, urging American citizens to not travel to the South Asian country.