Tel Aviv, Mar 20 : Israel's political waters were muddied further when hundreds of people defied orders by the authorities on large gatherings and gathered outside the Israeli parliament to protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accusing him of exploiting the coronavirus crisis to solidify his hold over power and undermine Israel's democratic foundations.
The protestors held banners which read "No to dictatorship", "Democracy in danger" and calling Netanyahu the "crime minister". Netanyahu has ordered the shutting down of the country's judiciary ahead of his trial in a corruption case, has authorised use of phone-surveillance technology on the people, and adjourned parliament until next week. In his defence, Netanyahu said most of these moves are unpleasant, but necessary steps to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Netanyahu's opponents say he is more interested in staying in power after a third consecutive inconclusive general election in less than a year. Israelis have been ordered to stay at home to halt the coronavirus spread. Netanyahu tightened a national stay-at home policy, announcing guidelines aimed at halting the spread of the coronavirus would now be enforced by police under emergency orders. "Under these orders, Israel's citizens, are required to stay at home. It is no longer a request, it is not a recommendation, it is an obligatory directive that will be enforced by enforcement authorities," Netanyahu said in a televised address.(UNI)