Protests against the Prawer Plan, especially the central protest in the southern town of Hura, made it to top headlines on all Israel media sites on Saturday night and the newspapers on Sunday morning, showing mostly the violent end of what began as peaceful protests. What wasn’t reported was the violent arrest of a minor, a 14-year-old Bedouin child, who can be seen in a photo below being dragged with a gun pointed at him, and in the a video (released by Ehna TV) being dragged on the street by his shirt and shoved into a police car. All this despite efforts by the protesters there, to stop the arrest on the grounds that he is just a child.
Other videos and photos of police violence have been circulating from the protests that took place in Hora, Haifa, Tireh, Taybeh, Jaffa and in East Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza yesterday. In other video from Haifa, multiple riot police officers can be seen kicking a protester on the ground. One of the wounded demonstrators was the “Al Ittihad” editor in chief, Aida Touma-Sliman, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Israel. Thousands of protestors participated in a large demonstration in Haifa on Saturday against the Prawer Plan as part of a global “Day of Rage.”
Many protesters were detained as Israeli police violently dispersed the crowds in the northern Israeli city, and clashes continued into the evening. The central protest took place outside the Arab-Bedouin town of Hura in the Negev desert. Thousands protesters arrived from all over Israel, calling to stop the Prawer Plan, which if passed, will displace tens of thousands of Arab-Bedouins, who are citizens of the state. Protesters were met by dozens of armored and mounted riot police who confined the protest in a barricaded area tens of meters back from the main road. Clashes eventually broke out and police used tear gas, foul-smelling water cannons and mounted, undercover and uniformed riot police officers to disperse the crowd. As youth threw stones, riot police charged into the crowd, arresting at least 15 activists, including at least one child (will update as numbers come in). Clashes continued for some time as Bedouin youth blocked the main road with burning tractor tires
MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) called on the government to announce that it would freeze the plan and start dialogue with representatives of the Arab Bedouin population. “There are genuine alternative plans on the table and we have to advance them instead of ramrodding legislation that destroys villages, expels people from their homes and offers no solution to the real problems of inequality of the Bedouin population in the Negev,” Khenin said.
In the West Bank, several dozen protesters marched from Ramallah toward the encroaching settlement of Beit El. Settlement security officers fired live ammunition in the air and Israeli soldiers used tear gas to drive the protesters back toward the Jalazoun refugee camp. Three Palestinian protesters were arrested and reportedly beaten by the soldiers. In the Gaza Strip, roughly 100 people gathered in Palestine Square (al-Saha) to protest the plan to displace Bedouin in the adjacent Negev desert. Police reported that 15 people were arrested in Haifa and that a police officer was stabbed and lightly wounded. Dozens gather at Jaffa’s Clock Tower to protest against the arrests of demonstrators across the country. Approximately 30 demonstrators were arrested in the Negev protest, all of whom are still in police custody. The three Palestinians arrested in the Ramallah demonstration have been released.
In Israel and abroad: Protests against Prawer Plan
Arab-Bedouins to strike in protest to parliamentarian Interior Committee visit
Arab-Bedouin call on court to block destruction of their Negev village
Hadash MK calls proposed legislation on Arab-Bedouins in the Negev a transfer plan
Cabinet approves eviction of Arab-Bedouin citizens
Demonstrators march in Tel Aviv against Prawer Plan
UN criticizes “Prawer Bill” to expel Arab-Bedouin from their land