Haifa mayor assaulted at city’s Pride Parade
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Haifa mayor assaulted at city’s Pride Parade

Activist forced off stage during Yona Yahav’s speech after calling on him to resign from environmental committees

Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav (in white shirt), argues with a man in the city's Kiryat Eliezer neighborhood. (Phil Sussman /Flash90)
Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav (in white shirt), argues with a man in the city's Kiryat Eliezer neighborhood. (Phil Sussman /Flash90)

Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav was assaulted on Friday afternoon by an environmental activist at the end of the Pride Parade held in the city.

Some 4,000 people marched in Haifa, in celebration of the LGBTQ community, ending their march in the city’s well-known Gan Ha’em park.

At the park, Yahav was assauled by Yali Hashesh, an activist from the organization ‘Woman to Woman,’ according to a report on Israel Radio.

Hashesh was forcibly taken off the stage, where Yahav was addressing the crowd, but not before she called on him to resign from his positions on boards of directors of organizations dealing with preserving the environment at Haifa Bay.

Hashesh claimed that Yahav was not qualified to sit on the boards of environmental groups since, she claimed, he was cooperating with the polluting plants that are considered the environmentalists’ adversaries.

A study published in February suggested that there was a link between a high rate of infant disorders in the Haifa region and air pollution caused by heavy industry situated next to the city.

Haifa Bay is home to oil refineries, power plants, manufacturers of chemicals and metals and a major port, all of which have been a source of concern for residents after recent studies found higher cancer rates in the surrounding towns.

Yahav has been the city’s mayor since 2003. He’s currently serving his third term as mayor.

— Sue Surkes contributed to this report.

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