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Thousands rally against Netanyahu

By Agencies in Tel Aviv | China Daily | Updated: 2015-03-09 07:39

Tens of thousands of protesters rallied at a square in central Tel Aviv on Saturday evening, calling for the replacement of incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the country's March 17 elections.

The rally, titled "Israel wants change", was organized by the Million Hands grassroots organisation that campaigns for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and the creation of a Palestinian state.

Police said more than 25,000 people protested in the city's Yitzhak Rabin Square. Organizers said twice as many people attended the rally.

Main speakers at the gathering included former chief of the Mossad spy agency Meir Dagan and Michal Kesten Keidar, the widow of Dolev Keidar who was killed in Israel's 50-day military campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip last summer.

"I fear our leadership ended with no deterrence and no diplomatic achievements," Dagan told the crowd at the square where late Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated almost two decades ago.

Netanyahu is "fighting only one campaign - the campaign for his own political survival", he said, adding that "in the name of this (Gaza) war he is dragging us down to a bi-national state and to the end of the Zionist dream".

Michal Kesten Keidar also blasted Netanyahu for his handling of the conflict with the Palestinians.

"Yes, Mr. prime minister, what's important is life itself," she said, regarding a recent comment by Netanyahu stressing the importance of focusing on the security threat of nuclear Iran over socio-economic topics.

"But it's impossible to speak all the time about Iran and to turn a blind eye to the bloody conflict with the Palestinians, which had cost us so much blood over the years," she said.

Xinhua - AFP

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