Three Arab Students Detained at Nakba Day Event at Tel Aviv University

As Palestinian mark Nakba Day with marches and events across the country, on Sunday police officers detained three Arab students at Tel Aviv University accused of assaulting fascists activists who staged a counter-protest.

Police officers arrested three Arab students at the Nakba Day commemoration in Tel Aviv University, Sunday, May 15, 2022 (Photo: Zo Haderech)

Several hundred students participated in the annual event. Activists with Im Tirzu, a fascist group that champions Nakba denial, said they were attacked, whereas Hadash activists who were there for the Nakba commemoration say the violence started with an assault of an Arab student by one of the counter-protesters. Im Tirtzu activists also put-up banners reading “Nakba Nonsense.”

The large crowd of Arab students and Jewish supporters waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans against occupation of the Palestinian territories. A portrait of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu-Aqleh, who was recently killed during occupation army operation in Jenin, was set up at the site as well. Among the demonstrators: Communist Party of Israel General Secretary, Adel Amer and Joint List lawmakers, Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash), Ofer Cassif (Hadash) and Sami Abu-Shehadeh (Balad).

Joint List MK Touma-Sliman tweeted that she herself attended the Nakba Day ceremony at the university, praising the “impressive young people who insist on holding an event that reveals the truth about the history of this place.” Joint List Chairman MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) also expressed support for the protesters in a tweet. “Now, at Tel Aviv University, male and female students mark Nakba Day, not succumbing to arrests and police violence.”

In Beer-Sheva, plainclothes police officers arrested on Thursday a student at Ben-Gurion University over messages she posted on social media, accusing her of “incitement.” Maryam Abu Qweder, an Arab-Bedouin from southern Israel, was apprehended after a demonstration in memory of Palestinian journalist Abu Aqleh.