Right-wing Protesters March in Jerusalem, Chant 'Death to Arabs'

Police prevent hundreds of demonstrators from entering Palestinian neighborhood; leader of far-right Lehava group arrested.

Olivier Fitoussi

Hundreds of people, including right-wing extremist, rallied in Jerusalem Thursday evening against what they called government inaction and capitulation in Israel's capital, chanting "death to Arabs" and "police state." Four were arrested during the demonstration, including Bentzi Gopstein, head of the far-right Lehava organization.

A group of demonstrators entered the Western Wall plaza and appeared to be searching for Arabs. Police forces are at the scene in large numbers. Protesters have requested the police permit them to descend from the area into the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem.

The incident came after a day of violence which saw no less than seven lone-wolf terror attacks against Israeli Jews in Israel and the West Bank.

Olivier Fitoussi

The protesters began marching towards the Old City, but were blocked by the police and clashes erupted. During the altercation, four demonstrators were arrested, including Gopstein, who chanted "Police state" at the officers, prompting his arrest. The tree others were held on suspicion of throwing stones at the police and rioting.

Some of the protesters then managed to arrive at the Western Wall complex, demanding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "stop talking, and start doing."

Right-wing extremist Baruch Marzel, who also participated in the rally, said "If Netanyahu cannot get things done, he should go home. The people of Israel have grown tired with talk."

The protest was also attended by Michael Ben Ari, a former lawmaker, and Itamar Ben Gvir, a far-right activist. "The Israel Police only take a strong hand against the Jews, infringing on their freedom of expression and denying them their right to protest, instead of tolerating the demonstration like they do with Arabs," Ben Gvir said.

The protest was also attended by members of the La Familia 'ultras', a group of extreme right-wing Beitar Jerusalem soccer club fans.

Last week, after a deadly terror attack in Jerusalem, a group of demonstrators tried to enter the Muslim Quarter in the city, and were also blocked by police. Afterwards the rightist activists dispersed across the city, chanting "death to Arabs." Some activists, members of the far-right Lehava group, marched toward Jaffa Gate and tried to block traffic but were unsuccessful. A few of them then entered the Mamilla Mall and attacked an Arab worker with tear gas. In another incident, an Arab man was attacked while driving his car near IDF Square. As he tried to flee, he hit a pedestrian, who was lightly hurt.