A protest Monday evening against settlers’ Huwara pogrom in the occupied West Bank a day earlier blocked a major highway in Tel Aviv, ending with three arrests. More than 1,000 protesters turned out Monday night in Tel Aviv, and other “emergency protests against the “settler government lighting the country on fire,” were held in Jerusalem, Haifa, Beersheba, Nazareth, Herzliya, Kufr Qara, Shefa-Amr, Ra’anana junction, Rehovot, Mishmar Hayarden and Mitzpe Ramon. Tonight, will be held another protest in the city of Sakhnin.
Anti-occupation protesters in Tel-Aviv, Monday, February 28, 2023 (Photo: Zo Haderech)
The protests came less than 24 hours after hundreds of settlers entered the Palestinian town of Huwara to carry out a pogrom after the shooting there earlier in the day that killed two brothers from the Har Bracha settlement: Hallel and Yagel Yaniv. The mob rampaged through the town for hours, setting fire to homes, storefronts, and cars.
Protesters on Monday in Tel Aviv and elsewhere waved Palestinian and red flags and sported placards with anti-occupation messages, including “the settler government is bad for all of us”, “there is no democracy with occupation” and “there is no democracy without freedom,” as well as messages of solidarity with Huwara.
Police clashed with the protesters in Tel Aviv as they attempted to clear the blocked highway exit ramp. Video from the scene showed police officers forcibly carrying off some protesters, while others yelled “shame!” Police directed drivers to alternate routes as they were forced to block off several major streets due to the protest. The Tel Aviv protest began in Habima Square before the activists marched along Kaplan Street in front of the Defense Ministry and blocked an exit ramp from the Ayalon Highway. Police said they arrested a 19-year-old resident of Yehud for spraying pepper spray toward the anti-occupation protesters in Habima Square.
During the demonstration in Jerusalem, MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash) said that the pogrom was the work of “settler terror militia” working under the protection of the “occupation regime to carry out war crimes.”
On Saturday evening, hundreds of thousands of Israelis turned out at protests around the country to rally against the government’s plans to radically curb the judiciary. At the largest such protest in Tel Aviv, hundreds blocked the Ayalon Highway in both directions for several hours, setting tires on fire and spraying graffiti on the road. While 21 protesters were arrested, all of them were released the next day.