Police Use Force to Clear anti-Netanyahu Protest Camp Ahead of Jerusalem Right-wing Protest

Ex-Shin Bet head among those roughed up as police clear demonstrators ahead of right-wing protest near PM's residence

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Former Shin Bet head Carmi Gillon being cleared by police at anti-Netanuyahu protest, August 20, 2020
Former Shin Bet head Carmi Gillon being cleared by police at anti-Netanuyahu protest, August 20, 2020Credit: Emil Salman

The Israel Police removed dozens of protesters via force from an anti-Netanyahu protest camp near the prime minister's residence on Thursday, ahead of a right-wing protest slated to take place nearby later in the evening. 

The organizers of the anti-Netanyahu camp said they do not accept the police's demand that they clear the premises, and about 10 of them – including former Shin Bet head Carmi Gillon – chained themselves to nearby roadblocks before police pulled them away. 

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Gillon's hands were lightly injured when he was dragged away by officers. Before the evacuation, Gillon said that "clearing part of the encampment is a violent act against the protesters. The right to protest is a right I will not allow to be taken away from me."

Former Shin Bet chief Carmi Gillon shows bruises on his arms as police remove him from the site

Another protester was also injured and is being treated at hospital.

In a statement, police said they started clearing protesters from the site "After ongoing attempts at discussions with the demonstrators, and in light of their refusal to move to the area allocated to them."

Police said the right-wing protest, which will be held at Paris Square, has been approved, and its organizers are expecting some 3,000 people to attend. 

Amir Haskel, one of the leaders of the anti-Netanyahu protests, resists evacuation in Jerusalem, August 20, 2020
Amir Haskel, one of the leaders of the anti-Netanyahu protests, resists evacuation in Jerusalem, August 20, 2020Credit: Emil Salman

An anti-Netanyahu protest is also scheduled to take place across from the right-wing demonstration. Police intend to block roads near Paris Square and divert traffic to other routes.

Police said that in accordance to the High Court decision Wednesday, loud noises – including horns, drums, and other instruments and noisemakers – will not be allowed after 9:30 P.M. 

Police have cleared the encampment, part of the protest movement calling on the prime minister to resign in light of his corruption indictments, multiple times this summer. Law enforcement has often clashed with protesters, sometimes violently, in the process. 

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