Friday, October 19, 2018

Clashes between Israeli police, Israeli activists and Palestinians in Jerusalem during embassy move


By Annelies Verbeek - May 17, 2018
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [US foreign policy] [Israeli border police] [Palestinians] [protests]

Crowds of Zionists and pro-Trump groups gathered Monday afternoon on a hilltop in the Arnona neighbourhood of Jerusalem. Carrying “Make America Great Again” banners, they expressed their joy at the location that overlooked the opening of the American Embassy.

The embassy has been moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, after US President Trump declared it the capital of Israel in December. The move has been condemned by the international community, as Jerusalem is still a contested capital between Palestinians and Israelis and no peace agreement has been negotiated.
 
The celebrants were met by Israeli pro-Palestine activists and Palestinians protesting the illegal move. In the chaos that ensued, Palestinians were the only ones to be arrested.
 
Israeli activists came out in support of Palestine.
 
Israeli activists entered the scene after discussing strategies behind a corner. Drum beats accompanied their slogans; “from Mexico to Palestine, your border walls are a crime”, “one, two, three, four, we don’t want your racist war” and “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” among others.
 
Palestinians from East Jerusalem and the West Bank had also planned to protest at the location, having arranged buses to go together. Israeli Security Forces attempted to obstruct them by demanding to take pictures of ID cards before boarding. Some buses managed to leave, but according to protestors at the scene, were stopped before reaching the location.
 
Israeli Security Forces had been watching down Israelis protesting the embassy move for approximately an hour when Palestinians trickled in, having found other means to reach the location. Chaos erupted when protesters waved Palestinian flags and shouted slogans of redeeming Palestine. Israeli Border Police confiscated the flags and signs. Loud, verbal discussions between Israeli security Forces, Palestinians and Israeli activists ensued.
 
Israeli Security Forces attempted to confiscate flags and banners of Palestinian protesters.
 
Through the pushing and pulling, Palestinians were pushed behind corners to be handcuffed and taken away. According to Israeli news website Ynet News, 14 were arrested.
 
In the turbulence of the events, the Palestine Monitor spoke with Muhannad Halawani, a Palestinian filmmaker from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Wadi Joz. Halawani gave voice to a careful optimism, saying that moving the embassy at this point was an unwise decision, and that there will be repercussions.
 
With reference to the Israeli activists, Halawani emphasised that this is a minority within Israeli society. However, Halawani expressed his appreciation for the activists. “These are the people that we want to share our houses with,” he explained. “Who am I to decide who deserves to live on this land,” he said “but these people really deserve a good future with us.”
 
Trump Supporters gathered to express their satisfaction at the moving of the American Embassy to Jerusalem.
 
Palestinian lawyer and associate of the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) Diana Buttu was equally present at the scene. She explained to Palestine Monitor that this embassy move is not only against the Palestinians, but against the entire world. “The message that Trump has sent Israel and the entire world, is that might is right,” Buttu said. “There is a reason that no country around the world has recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It is because they took it by force”.
 
According to Buttu, recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, equals saying that it is OK to steal land, to build settlements. “Israeli actions are not only recognised as legitimate, but also rewarded,” she explained. Buttu slammed the Israeli Security Forces prohibiting Palestinians from raising flags. “There are hundreds of Israeli flags here.”
 

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