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2 injured as electric scooter plows into Tel Aviv ’55 years of occupation’ protest

Lightly hurt women taken to hospital; driver detained, unclear if crash was deliberate; Joint List MKs slam incident as linked to moves against display of Palestinian flag

A rally calling for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ending Israel's control of the West Bank, held in Tel Aviv on June 18, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
A rally calling for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ending Israel's control of the West Bank, held in Tel Aviv on June 18, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Two women were lightly injured Saturday night when a rider on an electric scooter plowed into a “55 years of occupation” demonstration in Tel Aviv.

The injured protesters were taken to Ichilov Medical Center in the city for treatment.

The protest was in Habima square in the center of the city.

It was not immediately clear if the crash was deliberate, and the rider was detained by police for questioning, Maariv reported.

Joint List lawmakers slammed the incident as a deliberate attack fueled by recent moves against the display of the Palestinian flag inside Israeli territory.

Palestinian flags were waved at the Tel Aviv demonstration.

Leader of the Joint List party MK Ayman Odeh, and his fellow party member MK Aida Touma-Sliman, who were both at the demonstration, went to visit the injured women in the hospital.

Odeh blamed the incident on “incitement” against the Palestinian flag, and pointed to a bill passed at a preliminary reading by opposition parties in the Knesset earlier this month that aims to ban the waving of the flag at institutions that receive state funding.

“The voting and the incitement against the flag has reached the streets,” Odeh said at the hospital.

“This shocking attack is a direct result of the wild incitement against all those who object to occupation and apartheid, and the racist laws like the Flag Law,” Touma-Sliman tweeted, referring to the legislation.

Fellow Joint List member Ofer Cassif said, “This is what is caused by the systematic incitement against the Palestinians and the left.”

In recent weeks, Israeli authorities have gone out of their way to challenge the hoisting of the Palestinian flag.

Police at a funeral in East Jerusalem last month for the well-known Palestinian-American Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh snatched Palestinian flags from mourners, reportedly following an order from a district police chief to make sure the Palestinian colors didn’t fly at the politically charged event.

Additionally, two Israeli universities were slammed for allowing Palestinian flags to be waved at campus events.

A group promoting coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis raised the Palestinian flag alongside the Israeli one on a high-rise building outside Tel Aviv, only to have authorities remove the Palestinian flag hours later.

Earlier this month the Or Yarok road safety lobby group reported that in 2021 there was a 34 percent increase in the number of accidents reported to police involving electric scooters, and an increase of 25% in the number of reported injuries.

Last year 1,364 people were hospitalized with injures from electric scooters or bicycles, according to the Gerner Institute at Sheba Tel-HaShomer Medical Center, Ynet reported.

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