Over 130,000 join protests to demand resignation of Netanyahu government

Tens of thousands of Israelis protest across the nation for the 15th week in a row, flouting new law that curbs anti-government demonstrations during the coronavirus lockdown.

The protests over the weekend, just three days after the parliament approved an edict to limit the scope of such demonstrations, kept pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign for his handling of the coronavirus crisis, as well as allegations of corruption, which he denies.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Netanyahu is on trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. He has denied wrongdoing.

Israeli law does not force a prime minister to step down after being indicted, sparking outrage and protests at a time when the country also grappled with the pandemic.

The new law bans Israelis from holding demonstrations more than one kilometre from their homes and forces stricter social distancing, a measure the government said was aimed at curbing COVID-19 infections.

According to protest organisers, an estimated 130,000 people rallied in squares and at junctions throughout the country from sunset on Saturday.

A small number of protesters scuffled with police and tried to block city streets.

According to news reports, more than 38 people were arrested in Tel Aviv by police.

Israel has shut down much of its economy and instructed people to stay within a kilometre of their homes whenever possible in an effort to contain a second-wave surge in coronavirus infections.