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Gaza attacks, hostage situation and more

Gaza attacks, hostage situation and more

New anti-government protests in Israel as Netanyahu undergoes medical intervention

Several people participate in a protest against the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and demanding the release of hostages held in Gaza, in front of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem, on March 31. (Credit: Leo Correa/AP)

Protesters gathered again on Sunday in Israel to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as the Israeli leader held a press conference and prepared to undergo medical intervention.

Netanyahu's office had previously announced that he was diagnosed with a hernia on Saturday night and would undergo surgery under full anesthesia tonight. Yariv Levin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, will assume the duties of Prime Minister during the intervention.

Netanyahu spoke to the media before undergoing the operation on Sunday night, local time.

What did Netanyahu say: The Prime Minister stated during the press conference that the Israeli occupation forces killed more than 200 people, whom he described as militants, in Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. The Israeli army made similar claims regarding its active raid on the medical centre. He also reiterated his commitment to invading the southern city of Rafah, saying this was necessary to defeat Hamas.

Netanyahu promised to return to work “very quickly” after his intervention.

Protests continue: While the prime minister was speaking, other large protests took place outside the Knesset, Israel's parliament, demanding the release of hostages held in Gaza and Netanyahu's resignation. Sunday's protests marked the second day of massive anti-government protests this weekend. This Saturday, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Caesarea, Raanana, and Herzliya. Israeli police said that at least 16 people were arrested.

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In anticipation of Sunday's protests, a police spokesman said hundreds of officers and border guards would be deployed.