Balad MK Hanin Zoabi calls Israeli homefront "weak," draws praise from Hamas • Public security minister: We will take every legal step to see Zoabi investigated and punished • Anti-war event in Tel Aviv sees clashes between Right and Left.
Strong opposition to Operation Protective Edge continued in a number of Arab Israeli communities this weekend, with protests against the Israeli action held in Haifa, Acre, Sakhnin, and the town of Arraba in the Galilee.
MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) was handcuffed at one of the demonstrations when hundreds of protesters clashed with special police forces deployed to the scene. According to Coastal District Police Chief Maj. Gen. Hagai Dotan and Haifa District Police Chief Commander Avi Edri, Zoabi attacked police officers.
Zoabi said that "the special forces behaved like animals and beat me even though I wasn't being violent."
The Haifa District Police denied the MK's accusations and said that they would ask the attorney-general to investigate Zoabi.
In a separate incident, protesters waved Palestinian flags and yelled anti-IDF and anti-government slogans during a demonstration organized by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Kafr Kana in the Galilee. Zoabi's colleague MK Jamal Zahalka participated in the event, calling it "a legitimate protest in light of the killing of our people in Gaza."
Another protest march comprising some 5,000 Arab Israelis and left-wing activists from Haifa, Wadi Ara, the Triangle region and the Galilee took place on the Carmel in Haifa on Saturday. Hundreds of police officers were deployed among the demonstrators and made at least 20 arrests.
Also on Saturday, Zoabi gave an interview to the Qatari news channel Al Jazeera condemning Israel's military operation in Gaza.
"The Israeli homefront is weak and afraid of casualties. It was surprised by Hamas' ability to fire rockets at Tel Aviv," Zoabi declared.
Hamas was quick to praise Zoabi for her remarks. The group called her a "proud Palestinian" and wished that "all the Arab politicians would behave like she did."
Zoabi's latest performance raised predictable controversy in the Knesset. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Yisrael Beytenu would appeal to the Central Elections Committee to have Zoabi removed from what they called the "Balad traitors' party."
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch had harsh words for Zoabi's conduct at the Haifa protest.
"I don't know if she and Zahalka can be called MKs," the minister said. Aharonovitch added that he intended to take every legal action possible to have Zoabi's parliamentary immunity removed and see that she was investigated and punished.
Meanwhile, left-wing and right-wing activists once again clashed in Tel Aviv when some 300 members of both camps showed up for an anti-war protest at Habima Square. Because of last week's violent altercations between anti-war demonstrators and right-wing counter-protesters, police separated the two groups with barricades.
Those opposing Operation Protective Edge held up signs bearing slogans such as "The IDF is a terrorist organization" and "Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies."
At one point, a few of the right-wing activists burst through the barriers and tried to attack the anti-war protesters.
Post a Comment