Demonstration in Hura against Prawer Plan / Photo: Hithabrut-Tarabot
The popular Day of Rage against the Prawer plan on Saturday was met with brutal Israeli police violence. Palestinians and Israelis protested Saturday against the “Prawer Plan”, a plan to resettle Bedouins in townships in the Negev. The protests were part of a "day of rage" in the Naqab (Negev), Haifa, Tayibe, Jerusalem and Jaffa, as well as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Thousands of people demonstrated in the Naqab's Hura Junction, carrying signs against the Prawer Plan. The protests evolved into clashes with police forces which continued into the night.
Child arrested during the demonstration in Hurra / Photo Yael Marom
Police forces fired tear gas and employed other crowd dispersal means. Several protesters were injured and were rushed to Beer Sheva's Soroka Medical Center.
After the demonstrations, a special police force named “Yoav”, established for the sole purpose of carrying out the Prawer dispossession law, surrounded Hura and later raided it, firing rubber bullets, teargas and skunk water.
Photo: Yael Marom
More than 1,500 people demonstrated in Haifa, where protesters blocked a road and were met with tear gas and shock grenades. Seventeen people were arrested.
In Haifa and Jerusalem police also clashed with demonstrators, using water cannons to disperse the crowd.
In Jaffa demonstrators carried signs reading "Prawer=ethnic terror" and "the plan will not pass."
In total some 30 people were arrested in rallies inside Israel.
Protests were held also in the West Bank and Gaza in solidarity with the protesters in Israel. In al-Bireh, Palestinians marched from the municipality building towards the settlement of Beit El. Israeli forces fired tear gas, stun grenades and live bullets at protesters as they neared the settlement. Three Palestinians were arrested.
In Hebron demonstraters gathered at the Ibn Rushd roundabout under the slogan "one people in the face of colonialism in Hebron and Galilee and the Negev."
Mohammed Alghebrena of the Committee for the Defense of Hebron, said during the demonstrations that the struggle in the Negev against the Prawer Plan is the battle in defense of Shuhada Street in Hebron, as well as the battle against the settlements in South Hebron Hills.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke Saturday night with Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and the national police commander, Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino, about the protests. He praised the police for their determined actions against the demonstrators, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office.
Netanyahu stated that the Israel is committed to advancing Prawer, despite Palestinian protests.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated that the demonstrations were “serious but expected riots.”
In his Facebook page, Lieberman added: “it is our duty to stop the situation in which there are some citizens to whom the laws of planning and construction apply and there are others who ignore them and use violence to ensure the laws don’t apply to them.” Lieberman also stated that “we are fighting for the national lands of the Jewish people, and some are intentionally trying to steal them and forcibly take them over. We cannot close our eyes and escape this reality.”
MK Ahmed Tibi on slammed Liberman’s remarks protesting "the audacity of a fascist immigrant who sits on land which he stole from its Arab owners.”