Three people were arrested, including a child, as dozens of demonstrators protested in solidarity with the residents of Jaffa on Monday night. The demonstrations came a day after two locals, both Arab, were arrested for allegedly attacking the head of a yeshiva – an incident that brought protesters and counter-protesters to the streets.
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Clashes erupted after protesters tried to stop undercover police officers from detaining a child who was allegedly lighting firecrackers. When demonstrators blocked officers and their car from leaving, the police deployed additional undercover officers and riot police and used heavy force to clear the way to their vehicle. The child – who protesters said was 11 and a half, while police said he was 13 – and two women were arrested.
Sunday's attack on Rabbi Eliyahu Mali came against the backdrop of plans to sell a building in the traditionally Arab neighborhood of Ajami to a Jewish yeshiva.
Confrontations also broke out on Sunday night, as protesters, counter-protesters and police faced off. Police have called Mali's assault a racially-motivated attack, but on Monday, Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court Judge Or Mammon said the two suspects' denial of racial motivation was plausible.
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On Sunday, police said the attack was likely motivated by conflict over the yeshiva's use of a building in the neighborhood, with Jaffa residents saying that there was disagreement over a plan to sell the building to the yeshiva.