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Protests in Azrieli Junction
Ethiopian protests, memorials, mark second evening
After several disruptions and arrests Wednesday evening, protesters disperse; in Kiryat Haim teens gather in moment of silence in memory of Solomon Tekah in park where he was killed by off-duty policeman

Protests by the Ethiopian community over the killing of a teenager in Haifa by an off-duty policeman resumed Wednesday evening but dispersed quickly and were replaced by an improvised memorial service in the Kiryat Haim Park where Solomon Tekah was killed.

 

 

Teens gathered in the park and shared stories about Solomon.

 

Teens gather in the park where Solomon Tekah was killed (Photo: Gil Nehushtan )
Teens gather in the park where Solomon Tekah was killed (Photo: Gil Nehushtan )

 

"We are here today to quietly light candles and respect Solomon," said Assaf, a family friend. "We lost a brother, I ask that the wishes of the family be honored — please don't hold anymore protests until the mourning days are over."

 

Earlier Wednsday, some 200 protesters tried to block Azrieli Junction in Tel Aviv but were removed by police and five were arrested. Protesters then began to walk down to the Ayalon Highway that encircles the city, aiming to block a section of it for the second consecutive day. Police managed to reopen the road after a short time.


Protests in Kiryat Ata in the Haifa district of northern Israel (Photo: Ido Erez)
Protests in Kiryat Ata in the Haifa district of northern Israel (Photo: Ido Erez)

 

Protesters in Rishon LeZion hurled stones at police forces. Two people were arrested and were found to be holding Molotov cocktails.

 

In nearby Yavneh, six were arrested during a protest in front of the local police station after rocks were hurled at security forces. 

 

A protester tries to block a road in Ashdod  (Photo: Ilana Curiel)
A protester tries to block a road in Ashdod (Photo: Ilana Curiel)

 

In Kiryat Ata, in the Haifa district of northern Israel, some 50 protesters gathered, shouting: "a violent cop belongs behind bars." Police forces there said that anyone who attempted to block roads would be arrested.

 

Police forces confront protesters in Azrieli Junction
Police forces confront protesters in Azrieli Junction

 

Protests took place at junctions in Netanya, Rishon LeZion, Yavneh, Rosh Ha'ayin, Ben-Gurion Airport and Bilu in central Israel, Yokneam in the north, and Ashkelon, Kiryat Malakhi and Be'er Sheva in the south.

 

 

Police arrest a protester at Azrieli Junction (Photo: AFP)
Police arrest a protester at Azrieli Junction (Photo: AFP)

A protest was also expected outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's family home in the coastal city of Caesarea but neber took place..

 

Acting Israel Police commissioner Moti Cohen told officers earlier Wednesday that blocking roads and key arteries would be unacceptable, a day after protesters caused massive traffic jams across Israel, leaving up to 50,000 commuters stranded.


Protests at Azrieli Junction  (Photo: AFP)
Protests at Azrieli Junction (Photo: AFP)

 

The police will not tolerate violence and anarchy in the widspread protests by the Ethiopian community, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Wednesday, warning that if protests resume, they would be met with resolve.

 

Police officers prevent protesters from blocking Azrieli Junction on Wednesday
Police officers prevent protesters from blocking Azrieli Junction on Wednesday

  

The Tuesday night protests, which swiftly turned violent, were held at major interchanges and roads across the country, after the funeral for 19-year-old Solomon Tekah. Police said 111 officers and dozens of protesters were wounded and 136 people were arrested.

 

Tekah's family on Wednesday called for the protests to be peaceful, with his father Worka urging demonstrators to avoid harming people or property.

 

The Ethiopian community is protesting against what they see as discrimination against them because of the color of their skins and say 40 years of polite demonstrations have achieved nothing.

 

Clashes between police forces and protesters in Beit Shemesh (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
Clashes between police forces and protesters in Beit Shemesh (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)

 

"I identify with the pain expressed and with the legitimate right to demonstrate," Erdan told Ynet, "but anarchy is not acceptable and causing injuries and damage to property will not be tolerated at all."

 

He told the Israeli media that instigators of violence who incited young members of the community on social media would be dealt with.

 

Asked whether the police were too timid in their response on Tuesday, Erdan said: "We remember protests in Israel over the years, some even ending with fatalities, and I think the police are acutely aware of those events and doing everything in their power so that demonstrators exercising their democratic rights do not suffer loss of life."

 

Erdan said Israel Police had made major strides to correct excessive policing against members of the Ethiopian community, and statistics show a drop of 21% in the number of arrests in the sector compared to past years.

 


פרסום ראשון: 07.03.19, 19:16
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