Disabled demonstrators clash with police in Herzliya protest
Arrests made in clashes between cops and disabled protesters in Herzliya after latter say agreement struck regarding road blockage was breached; police deny claim; ‘We'll block the entire country today, you'll see what's what,’ says protest leader.
A Herzliya protest staged by the disabled—part of the struggle to raise disability benefits to minimum wage levels—saw clashes between demonstrators and police Wednesday, with one protester cuffed and later released.
The protest, taking place near HaSira Interchange on Herzliya's highway 2, turned acrimonious when police asked protesters to disperse after 15 minutes, whereas they asked to block the road for a full hour.
After the two sides negotiated on the matter, they failed to reach an agreement, at which point police officers began forcibly removing some protesters.
The protest was organized by the "Disabled Panthers" organization, and also saw confrontations erupt between protesters and frsutrated passing drivers. Traffic near the interchange resumed only an hour after the protest started.
Heads of the "Disabled Panthers" claimed an agreement was reached with the police's traffic division a day before the protest as to the nature of the blockages, which the Glilot police failed to uphold.
The agreement reportedly included the length of the blockage abd when lanes would open and other articles.
"You broke our agreement, no problem. We'll block the entire country today, you'll see what's what," Eyal Cohen, head of "Disabled Panthers", told police on the scene of the protest.
For their part, the police claimed they were not made aware of any such agreement.
Representatives of the disabled protest will be meeting the Histadrut labor federation's Chairman Avi Nissenkorn, heads of major trade unions and Israel Teachers' Union General-Secretary Yaffa Ben David later Wednesday.
Earlier this week, "Disabled Panthers" protestors blocked the Coastal Highway while last week, a special recess debate was held in the Knesset over protestors' demands but was sparsely attended by mostly opposition MKs.