About 1,000 Jaffa residents hit the streets Saturday to protest the "phenomenon of Jewish settlement" in the mixed city located just south of Tel Aviv.
Muslim and Christian residents, as well as Jewish left-wing activists, are charging that religious settlers who moved to Jaffa are abusing Arabs in town and stirring provocations.
Many protestors carried Egyptian and Palestinian flags, chanting "Allahu Akbar" and "we'll liberate Jaffa with blood."
Egyptian flag in Jaffa (Photo: Ofer Amram)
One Jewish protestor, Matan Kaminer, said that demonstrators "need to learn from the Egyptian people how to rise up. Maybe that way our struggle will succeed." An Arab protestor, Said, added: "Both in Egypt and in Israel they are trying to continuously, methodically repress the people in the same way. We fully support the Egyptian people's struggle against the corrupt regime there."
"Only through Intifada and mutiny can revolutions be achieved," he said. "Jaffa is just like Cairo for us."
Hundreds of demonstrators slammed Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, while urging him to quit. Signs held up by the protestors included messages such as "Beware, the mayor supports racists," "We won't abandon Jaffa to the settlers," and "No to apartheid."
The demonstrators including Hadash Knesset Member Dov Khenin, who said: "We came to say no to racism and to settlement in a clear voice. Justice and equality will defeat racism and the settlers."
Later Saturday, some 50 people hit Haifa's streets for a rally of solidarity with Egyptian protestors. The demonstration, organized by communist movement Balad and the Village Sons organization, featured Palestinian and Tunisian flags, as well as signs reading: "Freedom for Egypt, liberty for Palestine."
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