Israelis Protest for Hostage Swap Deal Near Netanyahu’s Residence

Hundreds of Israelis attempted to reach Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in West Jerusalem on Sunday to pressure the government into negotiating a hostage swap deal with Palestinian factions, including Hamas.

Protesters gathered near Netanyahu’s residence on Gaza Street but were blocked by police, according to Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth daily.

In Tel Aviv, dozens of demonstrators demanded a hostage swap deal and tried to block part of the Ayalon Highway in the city center. Meanwhile, in Netanya, hundreds protested at the city’s entrance, displaying a banner that read “Enough, government of destruction.”

Earlier, Netanyahu stated that a Gaza cease-fire plan supported by US President Joe Biden would facilitate the release of hostages “without harming the other aims of the war.”

According to Yedioth Ahronoth, the Israeli negotiating team will leave on Monday to continue discussions on the deal.

For months, the US, Qatar, and Egypt have attempted to mediate a hostage exchange and cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas, but Netanyahu has rejected Hamas’s demands to halt hostilities.

Israel has faced international condemnation for flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire amid its ongoing offensive on Gaza since the October 7, 2023, attack by Hamas. Over 38,150 Palestinians, mostly women and children, have been killed, and more than 87,800 injured, according to local health authorities.

Nine months into the conflict, Gaza remains in ruins under a severe blockade restricting food, clean water, and medicine. Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered an immediate halt to its military operations in Rafah, where over a million Palestinians sought refuge before the city’s invasion on May 6.–News Desk