Six Israeli Policemen Wounded in Israeli Arab Protests in Jaffa

Police say protesters assaulted officers, pelted vehicles with stones and blocked traffic with tires and garbage cans; officers lightly wounded, six protesters arrested.

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
A fire at pro-Palestinian protests in Jaffa, October 6, 2015.
A fire at pro-Palestinian protests in Jaffa, October 6, 2015.Credit: David Bachar
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

Six Israeli police officers were lightly wounded in central Jaffa Tuesday night when dozens of Israeli Arabs held a protest amid the recent Jerusalem and West Bank tensions.

Two protesters were later arrested for allegedly assaulting police officers, and four others were arrested for suspected vandalism. The wounded police officers were taken to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.

Police say protesters threw stones at vehicles on Yefet and Tolouse St. and blocked traffic with tires and garbage cans. Protesters also pelted a public bus passing by with stones, breaking some of its windows.

Police added that the protest, which was organized by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was allowed to occur despite the lack of a permit, "in order to allow the right to protest."

Pro-Palestinian protests in Jaffa, October 6, 2015.Credit: Screenshot

However, at a certain point during the demonstration, protesters, some of whom were masked, began to attack police officers and throw stones at them, wounding three officers.

Hoping to bring the event to a close, senior officers in the Tel Aviv district spoke with leaders of Jaffa's Arab community, who called on demonstrators to disperse. Police added that they were working to restore order and stop the rioters.

This is the first demonstration the city's residents have held since the current West Bank and East Jerusalem clashes erupted. Residents have previously held similar small-scale demonstrations after varied events, such as security incidents or wide-scale protests in Arab and Palestinian society.

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old Palestinian was seriously wounded by Israeli security forces fire in the Shoafat neighborhood in East Jerusalem, according to Palestinian reports. In the West Bank, a two-year-old Israeli girl was lightly wounded by stone-throwers near the village of Luban e-Sharkiya, close to the Eli settlement.

Opposition Leader MK Isaac Herzog said the "riots in Jaffa are very serious and must be condemned by everyone. It's another example for Netanyahu's losing control and for the deterioration in personal safety."

Earlier on Tuesday, the chairman of the Joint Arab List party, MK Ayman Odeh, told Army Radio that he cannot tell the Palestinian nation how to fight the occupation. Odeh said that he opposes violent resistance, but added that he "won't set red lines to the Arab people. They will decide how to fight the occupation. I will always accuse the Israeli occupation."

Odeh's fellow party member, MK Basel Ghattas, said Monday during an interview with Radio South that "an occupied people have the basic right to oppose the occupation in every way they see fit." When asked to condemn the recent terrorist attacks, Ghattas said: "I wish I could prevent every drop of blood being spilled. I'm against any killing, but the responsibility for everything that is happening is on Netanyahu's shoulders."

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