Tens of thousands of people have protested in Tel Aviv against what they say is corruption within the government and the slowness of investigations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu is suspected of receiving luxury gifts from wealthy supporters and also faced a police interrogation for a secret deal he allegedly sought for favorable coverage with the publisher of the best-selling Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot .
The protesters gathered late on Saturday in a large boulevard of a luxury neighborhood in the Israeli city, a journalist from AFP said, shouting "Shame" and "Bibi go home", referring to the prime minister by his nickname.
The demonstration – called "the march of shame" – was organized by the leaders of the weekly protests that have taken place outside the home of Attorney General Avishai Mandelblit in recent months.
Crowds singing Shame! Shame! In a mbadive demonstration against corruption in Tel Aviv, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Netanyahu. pic.twitter.com/qis4Bhapue
– Gabby Sobelman (@Sobelmania) December 2, 2017
"Bibi and his government are destroying the country, there has been enough corruption," said the Democrat Michal, a resident of Tel Aviv who preferred not to give his full name.
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog expressed solidarity with the protesters, writing on Facebook that "frustration … arises from a feeling of injustice, repulsion against corruption and moral objection to a law tailored to a person "
The Israeli parliament will give a second and third reading of a bill on Monday that Netanyahu's opponents say is designed to help him survive the police investigation.
Project sponsor David Amsalem of Netanyahu's Likud party said he was only seeking to protect the rights and reputation of the suspects.
Netanyahu is suspected of receiving luxury gifts from wealthy individuals such as the Israeli businessman and the Hollywood prodigy. Mr. Arnon Milchan, who was also questioned.
According to reports, Milchan, an old friend of Netanyahu's, sent him boxes of expensive cigars and other items worth tens of thousands of dollars.
In addition to the suspicions that the gifts constituted a bribe, the police also suspect that Netanyahu sought a secret pact – which is not believed to have been finalized – that would have seen him receive favorable coverage in exchange for helping to stop the competitor of Yediot, the pro Netanyahu frees Israel Hayom.
Netanyahu has consistently denied doing anything wrong and says he has been targeted by a campaign of political opponents.