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Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

More than 2,000 Israelis stood 6 feet apart in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday to protest what they consider the erosion of democracy under the coronavirus-era government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Haaretz reports.

The big picture: The "Black Flag" demonstrations, which began in March, are a response to stringent coronavirus policies that include phone tracking for civilians. Police marked spots on the ground where protesters could stand, and organizers were required to provide participants with masks, Haaretz notes.

What they're saying: As Netanyahu and his former rival Benny Gantz work to form a unity government, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid — who was part of the same Blue and White party as Gantz up until last month — accused them of destroying Israeli democracy, according to the Times of Israel.

  • “They are fighting to get into the government,” Lapid said in a speech to protestors. “Telling themselves stories. They say, 'We’ll fight from the inside.' You won’t fight from the inside. You don’t fight corruption from within. If you’re inside, you’re part of it."
  • “A person with indictments can’t appoint a police chief, a state prosecutor, an attorney general, the judges who will deal with his case. That is Netanyahu’s list of demands. ... That’s how democracies die in the 21st century. They’re not wiped out by tanks overrunning parliament. They die from within."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
In photos
A protester wearing a face mask with " crime minister" written on it. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images
Protestors standing at a distance. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images
The measures are being attacked as anti-democratic by opponents. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images
Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Updated Jul 27, 2020 - Politics & Policy

In photos: Civil rights icon John Lewis honored with ceremonies across Alabama

A horse-drawn carriage carrying the body of the late Rep. John Lewis on July 26 crosses the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where Lewis and other civil rights leaders were attacked by police officers while marching in support of voting rights. Photo: Lynsey Weatherspoon/Getty Images

The life of the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) is being celebrated in a series of memorials this weekend across Alabama, the state in which he was born.

The big picture: Six days of remembrance for the giant of the civil rights movement, who died on July 17 at age 80, began Saturday morning with a service celebrating "The Boy from Troy" at Trojan Arena, Troy University, per a schedule provided by his family.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
7 hours ago - Science

China makes history with successful Mars landing

A model of the Tianwen-1 Mars rover is displayed during an exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.

8 hours ago - World

UN: 10,000 Palestinians displaced in Gaza as Israel-Hamas fighting escalates

A Palestinian woman walks after she collects her belongings inside her damaged house following an Israeli air in the northern Gaza Strip. Photo: Ahmed Zakot/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The United Nations warned Friday that ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas "has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis," in not only the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, but "the region as a whole."

The big picture: More than 125 Palestinians, including 31 children have been killed in Gaza since fighting began Monday, per the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Eight people, including two children, have been killed in Israel, Reuters reported, citing Israeli authorities.