Art by Yousef Amairi

Art by Yousef Amairi
the struggle continues

July 13, 2010

Unprecedented police brutality at occupied East Jerusalem protest, C.P. of Israel, 12 July 2010

Communist Party of Israel

Unprecedented police brutality at occupied East Jerusalem protest

Ten activists were detained and held for questioning over blocking roadways at a protest in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem yesterday, late Friday (July 9, 2010).

The Palestinian district is the site of weekly demonstrations against the takeover of local residents' homes by Israeli settlers. The demonstrations are frequently attended by Israeli peace activists among them several Hadash (Democratic Front for Equality and Peace – Communist Party of Israel) militants.

Some 300 peace and left-wing activists arrived in the neighborhood to rally against the evacuation of Arab families in favor of Jewish residents. The protestors attempted to enter the "Simeon the Just" compound, claiming a court had given them permission to do so, but were stopped by police and Border Guard officers.

Activists who clashed with the police said the officers used violent means against them despite a passive protest. Well-know author David Grossman and former Attorney General Michael Ben-Yair attended the rally as well. Grossman was also pushed by the police.

"We have wanted to protest inside the neighborhood with the Palestinians for the past nine months. We have a court approval," said one of the protestors, Shir Sternberg. "We demanded to enter in a non-violent manner, and the police pushed us."

Some six weeks ago, several hundred Hebrew University students and lecturers marched from the Mount Scopus campus in Jerusalem to Sheikh Jarrah in protest over the settlers' takeover of local residents' homes. The protest march included such prominent professors as Ze'ev Sternhell, Yaron Ezrahi, Ariel Hirschfeld and others.

The protesters carried signs calling for and end to settlements in East Jerusalem. "Democracy stops at Sheikh Jarrah," some signs said, while others read "Stop ethnic cleansing."

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