Shalit protest tent
Photo: Noam Moskowitz

Leftists 'assaulted' on way to Shalit rally

Sheikh Jarrah activists say police humiliated them on way to rally, with officers saying they 'hate Arabs'

The Shalit family concluded their 12-day march from Mitzpe Hila to Jerusalem on Thursday, and held a rally in the capital's Independence Park before heading to the protest tent near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence.


A number of activists from east Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood said they tried to join the rally, but were detained for questioning by police while on their way.


The activists expressed their intention to join the Shalit family as early as Tuesday. On Thursday Nasser Rawi, who was evicted by court order from his house in Sheikh Jarrah for the benefit of a Jewish family, arrived at the rally with local activist Yotam Wolf.


"We thought the rally was taking place next to the protest tent at the Prime Minister's Residence, but when we got there we realized it was at Independence Park," said Wolf. "We asked the guards which roads were open and how to get there, but they told us to stop and park on the side."


From that moment on, the two claim the police officers put them through a series of humiliations.


"Border Guard officers and security guards jumped us and searched the car twice. The cops interrogated us on the street and conducted a body search without any privacy," said Rawi.


"People were passing by and saw us with our hands against the wall being frisked," he added.


According to Wolf, the officer grabbed his hand firmly, twisted it and then pushed him. "They told us it was their right to search, take our cell phones and interrogate us. I asked them 'Why are you arresting me,' and they replied 'because we hate Arabs, but we hate people like you even more'."


Rawi said he would come show his support for the Shalit family on another occasion. "The whole issue of Gilad Shalit is a humanitarian issue; but after being attacked like this, we were too emotionally stressed and had to leave. We will go to the tent sometime in the next few days," he said.


Jerusalem Police sources told Ynet in response that police officers patrolling near the Prime Minister's Residence spotted the activist, who is known to the police, as well as two Palestinians who were strolling suspiciously around Benjamin Netanyahu's house. One of them was familiar to the police due to past security offences. However, the two were released after being questioned.


Shmulik Grossman and Ronen Medzini contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 07.09.10, 00:55
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