According to police, the demonstration was illegal. During the demonstration protestors attacked a police officer.
Peres was visiting the Nazareth cultural center at the invitation of the municipality in order to hear residents' demands on development of local tourism, education and industry.
Nazareth demonstrators (Photo: Hassan Sha'alan)
Certain political and social groups had declared their intention of protesting against the visit as early as last week and demanded that the visit be cancelled.
Protestors also held up signs that read "We don't want murderers in Nazareth," "Nazareth united against the criminal Peres," "We won't forget the shahids (martyrs) of Kafr Kana," and even "the State of Israel is a terrorist state."
One of the demonstrators told Ynet that the protestors saw Peres as the one responsible for the "Kafr Kana massacre," which occurred in southern Lebanon in 1996 during Operation Grapes of Wrath when Peres was prime minister.
"We are opposed to Peres' visit in Nazareth because he was the one responsible for the Kafr Kana massacre, would not grant amnesty to Arab prisoners but did for terrorists from the Jewish sector."
Israel Police's Northern District Operations Branch commander told Ynet that the demonstration was unlicensed and that some of the protestors went into the road and disturbed public order. "The protestors rioted and at first there were clashes and we arrested three, police forces will remain here until the end of the visit."
He added that one protestor attacked a police officer with a Palestinian flag and noted that police were still searching for one demonstrator who fled the scene. The visit continued as planned.
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