Some 250 left-wing activists arrived in the neighborhood to rally against the evacuation of Arab families in favor of Jewish residents. The protestors attempted to enter the Simeon the Just compound, claiming a court had given them permission to do so, but were stopped by police and Border Guard officers.
Activists who clashed with the police said the officers used violent means against them despite what they defined as a "passive protest".
"There is a huge mess here," former Knesset Member Zahava Gal-On (Meretz) told Ynet. "The police are shoving everyone. We stood on the pavements and they said our gathering was illegal. We had no one to talk to."
Author David Grossman and former Attorney General Michael Ben-Yair attended the rally as well. According to eyewitnesses, Grossman was also pushed by the police.
"We have wanted to protest inside the neighborhood with the Palestinians for the past nine months. We have a court approval," said one of the protestors, Shir Sternberg. "We demanded to enter in a non-violent manner, and the police pushed us."
A police official told Ynet in response that Grossman was one of the dozens of protestors who attempted to break through the barrier and enter the Jewish homes. According to the police, the officers 'used reasonable force' against the writer and pushed him to an area authorized for demonstrations in accordance with a court ruling.
Shmulik Grossman contributed to this report
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