Ronen Medzini | Ynet News
15 January 2010
Director of Association for Civil Rights in Israel among detainees in weekly protest against Jewish takeover.
Thirteen leftist activists, including the director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Hagai Elad, were detained Friday in a rally in east Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarah neighborhood.
About 70 Arab and Jewish leftists took part in the weekly protest to demonstrate against the Jewish takeover of homes in the neighborhood. The signs held up by protestors included “Jews and Arabs against evictions.”
Police officials said some protestors were detained because they ignored orders to disperse the unauthorized rally.
However, a protestor told Ynet that Elad was detained after approaching police officers at the scene and trying to talk to them.
“He explained to them that there was no reason for arrests because it was a quiet and legal gathering, but they told him to go into the police cruiser,” she said. “They arrested him just for the hell of it.”
Another demonstrator also claimed the protest was peaceful and did not include the blocking of roads.
“We gathered quietly and protested quietly,” she said. “We didn’t even get close to the homes, and for such rally there is no need for a police permit. The police wish to silence our protest because we are leftists and Arabs. They don’t treat rightist protestors that way.”