Police arrested seven people on Tuesday in Haifa at a protest against the Israeli counter-terror operation in the West Bank city of Jenin.
Dozens of demonstrators at the rally in the mixed Arab-Jewish northern city chanted against Israel, calling the country a “terror state,” and waved Palestinian flags.
Police ordered the protesters to put down the Palestinian flags, but they refused, leading to clashes between the two sides and to the arrests.
Police said they had ordered the removal of the flags because the banners would likely lead to a “serious disturbance to the public.” Officers also claimed that the protesters had attacked them after the request.
The police force under far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has increasingly cracked down on Palestinian flags, although waving them remains legal.
The protest took place in Haifa’s German Colony neighborhood, a central part of the coastal city.
Police said the arrests had been for disturbing public order, obstructing police and assaulting officers.
עשרות מפגינים בחיפה נגד פעילות צה"ל בג'נין, 7 מוחים נעצרו, בהם שחקן הקולנוע סאלח בכרי
(צילום: דוברות המשטרה) pic.twitter.com/3JmRGCuzI3
— גלצ (@GLZRadio) July 4, 2023
Among those arrested was actor Saleh Bakri, who is the son of Mohammad Bakri, the director of the film “Jenin, Jenin.” The widely discredited documentary film falsely alleged that the IDF massacred civilians in Jenin during the Second Intifada.
Dozens also protested in Tel Aviv against the Jenin operation. Knesset members Ayman Odeh and Ofer Cassif of the predominantly Arab Hadash-Ta’al party were in attendance. Protesters said eggs were thrown at them during the rally.
“The murderous incursion into Jenin and the terrible attack in Tel Aviv have the same source — the criminal occupation,” Cassif said. A terrorist wounded seven people in Tel Aviv earlier Tuesday, including a pregnant woman who lost her unborn child.
Other Arab Israeli political leaders have also harshly denounced the operation in Jenin.
Dozens also protested against the operation in Haifa and Jaffa on Monday. The protesters carried signs that said, “From the Negev to the Galilee, with our Palestinian people.”