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Israeli authorities disperse protesters demanding prisoner exchange with Hamas

AA Photos
By Ahmet Erarslan
Jun 23, 2024 10:55 AM

Israeli authorities dispersed demonstrators in western Jerusalem today, as they called for an exchange of captives with Hamas. The protesters obstructed traffic at the Givat Mordechai Interchange by placing ladders on the road and displayed signs advocating for the release of Israelis held by Hamas, as reported by Israeli Channel 12.

Chants of “elections now” echoed among the protesters, adding to the mounting pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign. Thousands of Israeli citizens gathered near the Knesset, the country’s parliament, on Monday night to push for early elections and a potential swap of prisoners with Hamas.

Hamas, reportedly holding more than 120 Israeli captives, is insisting on Israel ending its deadly operations in the Gaza Strip in exchange for any negotiation on hostages with Tel Aviv. Despite a U.N. Security Council resolution urging an immediate halt to hostilities, Israel continues its severe offensive in Gaza following an attack by Hamas on October 7, 2023.

The ongoing violence has resulted in a significant death toll in Gaza, with over 37,350 Palestinians killed, predominantly women and children, and more than 85,400 others wounded, according to local health officials. After eight months of conflict, large parts of Gaza now lie in ruins, facing severe shortages of essential resources like food, water, and medical supplies.

Accusations of genocide have been leveled against Israel at the International Court of Justice, with a recent ruling demanding an immediate cessation of operations in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians sought shelter before the area was invaded on May 6.

Last Updated:  Jun 23, 2024 10:55 AM