JERICHO — Many riot police stormed into Tel Aviv’s streets as thousands of anti-government protesters howled and screamed, signaling a terrible national emergency. Their objective was to free the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from a posh salon where she was receiving hair services.

The beauty salon was under siege by demonstrators on Wednesday night, and their “shame, shame” cries brought attention to Mrs. Netanyahu, a contentious figure who has long been connected to her husband’s political career.She has a reputation for enjoying a luxurious lifestyle at the expense of the taxpayer, which was only strengthened by her choice to get her hair done in the middle of a city where turmoil had just started becoming violent on Wednesday.

Israelis have also charged Mrs. Netanyahu, a former air hostess who is now a psychologist in the field of education, with exerting undue pressure on Mr. Netanyahu in relation to appointments to governmental positions and matters of public policy.

This is a look at what has caused Netanyahu’s wife to be so divisive over the course of about three decades in politics.The 64-year-old Mrs. Netanyahu has made sensational headlines in the past for, among other things, allegedly misappropriating public funds, splurging on domestic costs, and accepting presents from global leaders. She agreed to a plea deal in 2019 to resolve allegations that she spent $100,000 in public funds improperly to buy extravagant meals from celebrity chefs at the prime minister’s official residence, despite having cooks employed by the government. She has also become involved in the long-running political turmoil in the nation that was brought on by Netanyahu’s corruption conviction.

Netanyahu allegedly accepted presents from wealthy pals, including crates of champagne worth thousands of dollars and pricey jewelry for Mrs. Netanyahu, in exchange for political favors. He also allegedly made backroom agreements with newspaper publishers to obtain more favorable coverage.