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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Protesters divided outside courtroom during Israeli PM Netanyahu's corruption trial

Netanyahu's court appearances are often marked by protests [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 April, 2021

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Much as in Israel's recent elections, protesters outside the courtroom where PM Netanyahu is on trial are divided over their country's leader.

Supporters and detractors of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gathered outside court as the leader attended the resumption of his corruption trial.

The evidentiary phase of the trial begins Monday as Israel's political parties meet with the president to weigh in on who should form the next government following last month's inconclusive elections.

The 23 March vote was largely a referendum on Netanyahu but produced no clear verdict. 

Around 100 anti-Netanyahu protesters demonstrated outside court, carrying banner reading "crime minister." 

"It's quite unbelievable that Israel should have to accompany its prime minister into trial, and it's quite clear that this is not going to be an easy fight.

"He will fight to the end and so will we. Justice will be served, and democracy will continue.

"This is not going to become a dictatorship under one man," one of the protesters, "Captain Izzy," said.

Meanwhile, those in favour of the controversial leader were out in force too.

"I came here to support, to support and to strengthen my great leader, not only is he great he is unique.

"He saved the Jewish people and the people of Israel. They can't win against him, they can't," said Meir Azarzar.

Read more: Leader of 'kingmaker' Palestinian-Israeli party reaches out to Jews with prime-time speech

Israel's longest-serving prime minister faces charges of accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust in three long-running corruption cases.

He has dismissed the allegations as a "witch hunt" by hostile media and law enforcement.     

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