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Hundreds of Israelis protest in Jerusalem against Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Israeli Chief Aviv Kochavi, wearing face masks attend a graduation ceremony for new pilots in Hatzerim air force base near the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, Israel, Thursday, June 25, 2020.

ARIEL SCHALIT/AP

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: June 27, 2020

JERUSALEM — Hundreds of Israelis protested Saturday evening against Benjamin Netanyahu outside his Jerusalem residence as the Israeli prime minister faces corruption charges.

The demonstration was fueled by the detention of seven protesters Friday who held a smaller rally against Netanyahu's continuation as premier despite being under indictment. The demonstrators held banners describing Netanyahu as "crime minister."

Among the seven detainees was a former top Israeli air force general. On Saturday, Israeli police said the protest a day earlier was "illegal" because demonstrators blocked the roads.

Three of the protesters, including retired Brig. Gen. Amir Haskel, remained in detention for refusing the police's release terms and insisting on participating in Saturday's protest, Israeli media reported.

Last month, Netanyahu's trial on charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes opened in a Jerusalem court. It is scheduled to resume next month.

Netanyahu's new government took office last month, ending more than a year of political stalemate.

Under a power sharing deal, Netanyahu was permitted to remain as prime minister, while his rival, Benny Gantz, was named defense minister and alternate prime minister.

The two men have agreed to switch posts after 18 months, though many analysts do not expect the government to last that long.

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