High Court Rejects Request to Limit Protests Near Prime Minister’s Residence

YERUSHALAYIM -
Thousands protest against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in front of his official residence in Yerushalayim, Aug. 8. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

The High Court on Wednesday rejected a petition by dozens of Yerushalayim residents to end or limit protests near Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s official state residence on Balfour Street in Rechavia.

The petitioners were residents who live in the area who say that the constant protests have imposed an unfair burden on their daily lives and ability to sleep at night.

While expressing sympathy to the residents’ dilemma, the High Court said it believed the police had already arrived at a proper balance of protesters’ rights and residents’ rights to not be disturbed.

According to the police recommendation, protesters will not be able to use drums or other instruments after 9:30 p.m. Further, after 11 p.m., protesters will not be allowed to use megaphones.

Residents also demanded that the protests be limited in numbers, due to coronavirus restrictions.

In response, the High Court said that it trusted police to try to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing, but would not limit the number of protesters.

It was noted that in December 1993, when protesters from the rightwing faction wanted to hold a demonstration in front of then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin’s house following the Oslo Accords, the High Court ruled that “the right [to demonstrate] is not absolute. It must be balanced with the right to privacy of the prime minister, his family and neighbors. Five hundred participants will be allowed gather in front of the prime minister’s residence.”