Police arrest CEO of Israeli civil rights group in Sheikh Jarrah
Head of Association for Civil Rights in Israel and 14 other left-wing activists arrested in East J'lem protests.
Police arrested 15 left-wing protestors in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem on Friday, among them the CEO of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Hagai Elad.
Leftist activists have held weekly demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah for the past three months, in protest of the eviction of Palestinians from their homes and their replacement with Jewish families.
According to activists, the protest that took place on Friday was not authorized, unlike previous weeks' protests. At the onset of the demonstration, police declared it illegal and threatened to arrest its participants. An eye witness reported that police began arresting the main participants, Hagai Elad and a protestor waving a Palestinian flag among them.
In a statement, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel condemned its CEO's arrest. "We harshly condemn the police's suppression of the freedom of speech which had no legal grounds. The demonstration was forcefully scattered even though it took place legally, with no provocations or disruptions of public order," it was written.
Jerusalem police responded, saying it was an illegal protest of anarchists and leftist activists who did not listen to police orders. Regarding the arrest of Elad, the police said that if the CEO of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel allows himself to participate in an illegal protest, he shouldn't be surprised he got arrested.