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Israeli far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich slammed the growing protests calling for a hostage deal and elections as “irresponsible pressures.” “The demand for flexible positions on our part in the negotiations — as has been proven over and over again — only makes [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar harden his positions even more, and makes the return of the hostages even more distant,” Smotrich wrote on X “I call on the prime minister to stand firm in the face of irresponsible pressures that endanger the State of Israel and harm the goals of the war,” Smotrich said, as quoted by Israeli media.

Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel Smotrich, Israeli Finance Minister (photo from archive). Smotrich’s comments came ahead of four days of action by families of Israelis held captive in Gaza, and anti-government protesters.

The initiative was announced yesterday, with the relatives of some of the captives saying that it had become clear that the policy of using military pressure to secure their release was not effective.

Thousands Protest Netanyahu's Handling of War On Saturday, anti-government protests sprung up in both Tel Aviv and Al-Quds (Jerusalem), as Israelis feel that PM Benjamin Netanyahu is the main obstacle to signing a deal with Hamas and releasing the captives held in Gaza.

Protesters in Tel Aviv blocked the city's ring road while demanding early elections as well as calling for the release of Israeli captives.

In Al-Quds, hundreds of protesters picketed Netanyahu's private residence, blaming his far-right government for failing to secure the release of the around 130 captives believed to still be in Gaza — 33 of whom are presumed dead.

Israeli occupation police clashed with protesters in Tel Aviv, calling the action illegal and using water cannons to disperse them.

Smaller protests were also reported in smaller cities across the Zionist entity.

Relatives of some of the hostages were also present at the demonstrations.

Israeli media reported that 16 Israelis were arrested.

Original Article Source: Al Manar | Published on Sunday, 31 March 2024 13:41 (about 24 days ago)