Police and rioters clash in Tel Aviv
Photo: AFP
'Rioters crossed every possible red line'
Morning after unprecedented socioeconomic riots in Tel Aviv, police gear to file charges against 20 protesters; say violence planned 'to get media attention'
The police intend to file criminal charges against 20 protests who were arrested Saturday night during the violent demonstration in Tel Aviv, Ynet learned Sunday.


Some 85 people were arrested throughout the night, after social activists in Tel Aviv clashed with police across the city, blocked traffic, shattered and charged into banks in unprecedented socioeconomic riots.


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Sixty-nine of those arrested were released Sunday morning, while the others were arraigned before the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court.


Police sources told Ynet that intelligence indicated that rioters were intending to torch tires in various locations across Tel Aviv. One cache of tires was found in a building close to the main protest rally.

בנק הפועלים ברחוב אבן גבירול, הבוקר

Aftermath of riot


Yarkon Subdistrict Police Commander Yoram Ohayon denied the activists' claim of excessive police force, saying that the rioters broke the law and left the police little choice when it came to maintaining public order.


"Two of the rallies did not have permits but we had every intention of allowing them – we even made sure traffic was undisturbed during the early stages of the rally on Ibn Gvirol (Street).


"The problems began when the rioters strayed into the street, started stoning the forces, egging them and then vandalized the banks," he said.


"We have to enforce the law," he continued. "Protests are legitimate and we will allow them as long as they are held within the law. If we didn’t initiate arrests we would have seen looting as well.

דפני ליף בהפגנה הלילה בתל-אביב (צילום: ירון ברנר)

Daphni Leef at rally (Photo: Yaron Brener)


"The rioters crossed every possible red line. I couldn’t believe this could happen in Israel. We were very close to seeing the harsh sights we see in violent rallies overseas, here."


Another police source said that "There is no doubt that this was planned. The protesters recent moves got very little attention and they realized that the only way to get headlines is violence."



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First published: 06.24.12, 09:57
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