Israeli Arab Protesters Clash With Police in Nazareth

Police uses stun grenades to disperse rally; activists accuse police of tension to 'suppress legitimate protest.'

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Police in Nazareth, October 8, 2015.
Police in Nazareth, October 8, 2015.Credit: Gil Eliahu
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Dozens of Israeli Arab youths clashed with police in Nazareth on Thursday evening during a protest against Israeli policies vis-à-vis the Temple Mount and aggression toward Palestinians.

The demonstration, which was organized by an Arab youth movement, was initially meant to take place at Nazareth's southern entrance, where large police forces were deployed. The location was later changed to the city's center.

The police decided to break up the rally shortly after it started, using stun grenades to disperse the protesters. Several demonstrators were lightly wounded.

Some of the protesters then blocked traffic and set fire to trash cans. Sixteen demonstrators were arrested, including five minors.

Earlier, the police barred several buses from transporting protesters from Haifa to Nazareth.

On Wednesday night, nine youths involved in organizing the rally were arrested on suspicion of attempting to organize a riot, according to the police.

Adalah, an advocacy group for Arab minority rights, said the arrests were an effort to "suppress the wave of protests among Palestinians in Israel."

"The arrests have no legal basis," the group said. " Israel Police is acting above the law and is taking advantage of the political situation and the spirit of racism to persecute, suppress, scare, threaten and silence a legitimate political protest."

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