Hundreds of people protested on Tuesday in several cities across Israel and the West Bank against police brutality, following last week's killing of Eyad Hallaq by Israeli police, with four activists detained in Jerusalem.
The protests in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Bethlehem were mostly peaceful, but in Jerusalem a confrontation erupted between police and protesters, who marched to the police headquarters and blocked a main street on the way, tying up traffic on the light rail on Jaffa Street.
Police tried to forcibly disperse the demonstrators and arrested four, one of whom was released from custody on Tuesday evening and the other three on Wednesday morning.
The organizers of the Free Jerusalem movement link Hallaq’s death with that of George Floyd, a black American man who was killed last week after a police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, which has triggered mass protests across the United States.
Protesters chanted the names of police brutality victims in such slogans as “Justice for Eyad,” and “Enough of the killing on the streets.”
In Haifa, hundreds protested in the city’s lower district in a "stand of rage" for Hallaq, an unarmed Palestinian man with special needs who was killed by Israeli Border Police in Jerusalem.
Many held signs bearing the photographs of Floyd, Hallaq and Solomon Teka, an Israeli of Ethiopian origin killed by a police officer last summer. Some protesters also held Palestinian flags as they marched in the streets, blocking several roads along the way.
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There were no confrontations with police in Haifa, who let the demonstration proceed although the event was not coordinated in advance with the authorities. The Haifa protest was organized by the Hirak group and several other organizations.
At the same time, dozens of Palestinian protesters gathered in front of the Church of Nativity in the West Bank city of Bethlehem to protest the oppression of black people in the U.S. and the aggression of Israeli forces against Palestinians.
Protesters in Bethlehem lit candles in front of a photo of Floyd and Hallaq while chanting "Black lives matter, Palestinian lives matter."
In Tel Aviv, around 300 people protested in front of U.S embassy branch office over black American George Floyd's death in U.S. police custody
Protesters, some wearing surgical masks, held signs saying "I can't breathe!" and chanted "Black lives matter." Other protesters held up signs reading "I can't breathe" which showed photos of black individuals killed by police.
Reuters contributed to this report.