Palestinian protests move to Haifa

Updated 22 May 2018
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Palestinian protests move to Haifa

  • The 19 released had been protesting over the massacre that claimed the lives of dozens
  • The court in Haifa threw out police claims that protesters attacked officers

AMMAN: Nineteen Palestinian citizens of Israel were released on Monday after they were arrested during rare protests inside the country against the massacre in Gaza.

The protests in Haifa, the third largest city in Israel, which has a mixed Arab and Jewish population, started last week.

At a demonstration on Friday, witnesses said that police violently broke up the protesters, arresting 19 and breaking the leg of Jafar Farah, a prominent human rights researcher.

The protests were sparked by the killing of dozens of people in Gaza by Israeli forces last week. While Palestinian demonstrations in Gaza and the West Bank are common, it is much rarer for Palestinian citizens of Israel itself to come out and protest. Haifa has traditionally been held up as an example of peaceful coexistence.

Palestinian lawyers succeeded in getting the 19 arrested released early on Monday after marathon court sessions.

The court in Haifa threw out police claims that protesters attacked officers.

“We turned the courtroom into a space where police violence was exposed and rejected,” said Hassan Jabareen, a representative of the Adalah legal center for Arab rights.

Haifa sources told Arab News that the release of the protesters led to an increase in incidents of incitement against Palestinian citizens of Israel, where many feel they are treated as second-class citizens.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, minister of internal security Gilad Erdan and the mayor of Haifa Yona Yaha all criticized the protests and the wider Arab population in Israel, calling them disloyal.

Johnny Mansour, historian and political science lecturer at Beit Beril University in Israel, said that the country’s leadership wanted to divert attention from their own problems and find a scapegoat.

“Now the Palestinian minority in Israel are the easiest target that they can attack,” he told Arab News.


Turkish police detain 14 Daesh suspects before elections

Updated 29 min 34 sec ago
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Turkish police detain 14 Daesh suspects before elections

ANKARA: Turkish police detained 14 suspected Daesh members who were preparing an attack in Ankara ahead of this weekend’s elections, state-run Anadolu news agency said on Friday.
Counter-terror squad police in the capital swooped on various addresses in simultaneous raids and took the suspects, all foreign nationals, to police headquarters for questioning, the agency said.
Turks vote on Sunday in presidential and parliamentary elections that will trigger a change to a powerful presidential system.
Police in Turkey regularly carry out operations targeting the militant group.
Daesh has carried out numerous bombings across Turkey in recent years, including an attack on a nightclub in Istanbul on Jan. 1, 2017, in which 39 people were killed and a bombing in the city’s historic heart that killed 12 in 2016.