Anti-Netanyahu protesters march with sign calling him 'Crime Minister' near residence in Jerusalem on Saturday
Anti-Netanyahu protesters march with sign calling him 'Crime Minister' near residence in Jerusalem on Saturday
Photo: Amit Shabi
Anti-Netanyahu protesters march with sign calling him 'Crime Minister' near residence in Jerusalem on Saturday

Protesters set to block airport as PM to depart to U.S.

Netanyahu travels to Washington for ceremony marking normalization of relations between Israel UAE on Tuesday, backed down from intent to hire private jet for him and family while protesters at home call for his resignation over corruption and mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic

Itay Blumenthal |
Updated: 09.13.20 , 17:20
Protesters plan to block entrances to the Ben Gurion International Airport on Sunday in an effort to cause delays in the departure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the United States.
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  • The PM and his family will be traveling to Washington in order to attend a ceremony at the White House on Tuesday, marking normalization of relations with the UAE and Bahrain.
    Anti-Netanyahu protesters march with sign calling him 'Crime Minister' near residence in Jerusalem on Saturday Anti-Netanyahu protesters march with sign calling him 'Crime Minister' near residence in Jerusalem on Saturday
    Anti-Netanyahu protesters march with sign calling him 'Crime Minister' near residence in Jerusalem on Saturday
    (Photo: Amit Shabi)
    Anti-Netanyahu activists have been demonstrating outside the PM's official residence in Jerusalem as well as his private home in Caesarea, for the past 12 weeks calling for his resignation because of corruption and slamming his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.
    Netanyahu had planned to fly with his wife and two grown sons on a private jet because of their concerns that they may be infected by coronavirus if they were to share a plane with their entourage and the press corps. The estimated cost of the flight was at least $250,000.
    המטוס הפרטי שבו יטוס רה"מ נתניהו לארה"בהמטוס הפרטי שבו יטוס רה"מ נתניהו לארה"ב
    A jet owned by an Israeli business mogul that was meant to fly Netanyahu, his wife and his grown sons to DC
    (Photo: Moni Shafir)
    Only after public condemnation did the prime minister back down and announce he would be traveling on board the national carrier, El Al flight already being payed for from the government budget. The jetliner would also be fitted with an anti-missile defense system.
    The Prime Minister's Office explained the cancellation of the private jet saying they chose not to allow the media to distract from Netanyahu's achievements in securing normalized relations with Gulf nations.
     Anti Netanyahu protesters in Jerusalem  Anti Netanyahu protesters in Jerusalem
    Anti Netanyahu protesters in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Amit Shabi)
    The 12-hour flight to Andrews Air force Base outside Washington is scheduled to leave at 11 pm.
    The prime minister has also come under criticism for leaving the country while the coronavirus pandemic is nearing a critical number of seriously ill patients threatening to bring hospitals to over capacity as daily infection rates continue to rise and exceed 4,000 new daily cases.
    "Netanyahu is fleeing the country for four days of election campaigning instead of fixing the calamity he has caused, while the rest of the country is under threat of complete lock-down," the Black Flag movement said in a statement, "He plans to attend cocktail parties while his failures and his disconnect from the suffering of people is staggering. Israelis deserve proper leadership," demonstrators said.

    First published: 17:14 , 09.13.20
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