Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat :

Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : 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.



Aswat Asharq Al-Awsat : North Korea Warns of 'Devastating Consequences' over Leaflets from South

A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
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North Korea Warns of 'Devastating Consequences' over Leaflets from South

A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)
A jeweller shows a gold bar at his shop in downtown Kuwait City on May 20, 2024. (Photo by YASSER AL-ZAYYAT / AFP)

North Korea said on Tuesday that South Korea will face "devastating consequences" over anti-Pyongyang leaflets, state media KCNA said.

Kim Yo Jong, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's powerful sister and a senior party official, said large balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets from South Korea were found in her country, causing inconvenience to residents, Reuters reported.

"The situation seemed to be becoming unacceptable. Again I give you a stern warning," she said in a statement carried by KCNA.