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Protestors Call Netanyahu ‘traitor’ in fourth night of Israel protests

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On Tuesday, the relatives of Israeli captives held by Hamas in Gaza vehemently criticized their nation’s prime minister, labeling Benjamin Netanyahu a “betrayer” amid escalating discontent over his management of the conflict. This sentiment was echoed during the fourth successive evening of large-scale demonstrations.

A multitude assembled outside the nation’s legislature, where families of the hostages and ex-Prime Minister Ehud Barak censured Netanyahu for the calamity on October 7 and called for elections.

Einav Zangauker, a parent of one of the 134 hostages still detained in Gaza, accused Netanyahu of being responsible for the abduction of 240 individuals during his tenure, referring to him as a “pharaoh” and an impediment to negotiating the hostages’ release.

The hostage families, enraged with Netanyahu for not actively seeking their release, have joined forces with anti-government demonstrators who protested for nine months the previous year against his judicial reforms, which they argue endanger democracy.

At the rally, some family members charged Netanyahu with exploiting the conflict to extend his political dominance.

Merav Svirsky, who lost her parents in the Hamas assault and whose brother was later killed in Gaza, expressed that Netanyahu appears indifferent to the hostages’ plight.

Outside the Prime Minister’s residence, a standoff ensued, with Svirsky stating that the government’s primary obligation is to secure the return of the captives, a sentiment she initially believed the prime minister shared, but now sees as politically motivated.

Barak warned that if Netanyahu initiates a ground assault on Rafah, the hostages would be returned deceased, accusing him of forsaking them on October 7 for the sake of an unequivocal triumph.

He advocated for immediate elections, asserting that the person accountable for the disaster should be ousted from leadership.

Zangauker criticized Netanyahu for attempting to discredit the protesting hostage families during wartime, calling them traitors while she deemed him the true traitor to the people and the State of Israel.

Later, approximately 3,000 protesters marched to Netanyahu’s residence, chanting for his resignation. The police reported that some demonstrators attempted to dismantle barriers, prompting mounted officers to intervene.

On October 7, Hamas militants captured around 250 hostages, with 33 presumed deceased.

The unprecedented Hamas attack has left Israel in shock, with an estimated 1,160 Israeli fatalities, mostly civilians, and a retaliatory campaign resulting in at least 32,916 deaths, predominantly women and children, in Gaza, as reported by the local health ministry.

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