Thousands of Israelis protested against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu across the country on Saturday, flouting a new law meant to curb anti-government demonstrations during a coronavirus lockdown.
Most protests on Saturday night were small and scattered throughout the country, though a crowd of thousands gathered in Tel Aviv.
Clashes broke out between protesters and police on horses and motorbikes in several locations across the city. At least 12 people were arrested and hundreds of fines were handed out.
Several people were hurt in the clashes, including Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai who was left bleeding from the arm when he was struck by a police officer.
Incidents of violence were also reported in other areas of the country, including Pardes Hannah, Netanya, Kfar Saba and Kiryat Ono.
The street protests, just three days after the Knesset approved an edict to limit the scope of such demonstrations, kept pressure on Netanyahu over his handling of the coronavirus crisis and over an indictment for corruption, which he denies.
The new law bans Israelis from holding demonstrations more than 1 km from their homes and forces stricter social distancing, a measure the government said was aimed at curbing COVID-19 infections.
Critics have called it a blow to freedom of speech.
Israel has shut down much of its economy and instructed people to stay within a kilometer of their homes whenever possible in an effort to contain a second-wave surge in coronavirus infections.
The virus claimed 19 lives in Israel on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 1,679. There are currently 71,908 active cases of COVID-19 in Israel, including 839 patients in serious condition, of whom a record high 224 are on ventilators.