Massive rally to shut down central Tel Aviv

Police closing off major Tel Aviv streets ahead of Tuesday evening rally in support of soldier Elor Azariya.

David Rosenberg ,

Demonstration in Jerusalem
Demonstration in Jerusalem
Hezki Ezra

A day after a military court formally indicted Elor Azariya of manslaughter, a massive rally in support of the accused soldier is set to take place Tuesday evening in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square.

Anticipating heavy turnout, Israeli police have advised the public that major thoroughfares would be closed for the demonstration, including Ibn Gabriol Street, King David Boulevard, Gordon Street, Malchei Yisrael Street, and Ben-Gurion Boulevard among others.

Speaking on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called for both supporters and detractors of Azariya to work to reduce tensions over what has become a hot-button issue.

“Our soldiers are not murderers. They act against murderers and I hope that a way will be found to balance between the action and the overall context of the event. In the meantime I suggest that everyone lower the flames."

On Monday, two of Israel’s most popular music stars cancelled their planned appearances at the demonstration following heavy pressure not to participate. Eyal Golan and David D’Or had both committed to appearing at the event, only to cancel suddenly on Monday.

Israeli rap star Kobi Shimoni – better known by his stage name, Subliminal – is still scheduled to perform at the demonstration.