Israeli Arab Protesters Clash With Police in Rally Against West Bank Operation

Several people lightly injured near Umm al-Fahm as demonstrators gather to support administrative detainees, protest IDF's Operation Brother's Keeper.

Protest in Umm al-Fahm, June 27, 2014.
A protest in Umm al-Fahm. Some incidents have turned violent, resulting in dozens if arrests.

Police clashed with demonstrators on Friday night near the entrance to Umm al-Fahm, during Day of Rage protests in support of Palestinian prisoners.

Two police officers were slightly injured by stone throwing, and a few protestors were injured by smoke inhalation. MK Afou Agbaria (Hadash) was injured lightly by a stun grenade.

Hundreds of protesters participated in the demonstration, including representatives from the Arab parties as well as heads of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel. The demonstration was held in support of Palestinian prisoners and administrative detainees that ended a hunger strike which they began roughly two months ago. The protest was scheduled early last week, before the deal that led to the end of the hunger strikes.

The protesters also offered solidarity for West Bank residents, in light of the IDF’s recent operation there, Brother’s Keeper, to locate three teens kidnapped in the West Bank two weeks ago. Protestors flew Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against the occupation and in support of the prisoners’ struggles.

Police special forces prepared for the protest, under the command of Central District commander Brig. Gen. Hagi Dotan. Protesters came close to Route 65 roads, although protest organizers tried to prevent them from doing so, and threw stones at police forces. The police responded by forcing the demonstrators back into the city with crowd control tactics, including stun grenades and tear gas.