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Hundreds of demonstrators came out in Tel Aviv and other cities to demand an immediate prisoner exchange deal and call for the overthrow of the government and the organization of early elections, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu renewed his promises to restore Israeli detainees in the Strip.

Al Jazeera correspondent Fatima Khamaisi reported that the Israeli police used water cannons to forcefully disperse the demonstrators.

She said that the police beat demonstrators in central Tel Aviv, including a female prisoner who was released in the Gaza Strip as part of the first deal concluded between the Hamas movement and the Israeli occupation.

Demonstrations in front of the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv demanding the dismissal of Netanyahu’s government and the return of detainees in Gaza.. Al Jazeera correspondent Fatima Khamaysi brings us the scene #Gaza_War #News

- Al Jazeera Channel (@AJArabic) February 24, 2024

The correspondent also said that the Israeli police arrested 18 demonstrators while a major intersection in central Tel Aviv remained closed.

The demonstrators raised banners accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of responsibility for the failure to deal with the October 7 attack.

Coinciding with the protests, Netanyahu renewed his promises to restore Israeli detainees in the Gaza Strip, saying, “We will recover the hostages, eliminate Hamas, and achieve the goals of the war through a combination of military pressure and firm negotiations.”

Source: Al Jazeera + agencies