Dozens protesting the death of a teenage settler last year clashed with police Saturday night at the entrance to Jerusalem, in the fourth rally in recent weeks to turn violent.
Ahuvia Sandak, 16, was killed in a car crash while fleeing from police, allegedly after throwing rocks at Palestinians. Repeated protests over Sandak’s death have escalated into violence and arrests.
On Saturday, the clashes began as police attempted to clear far-right protesters trying to block the main entrance to the capital city, briefly leading to the closure of Route 1.
Police arrested at least seven suspects on suspicion of disturbing the peace, and for allegedly throwing rocks at officers.
Photos of the incident show police using water cannons to clear protesters from the road under the Strings Bridge and uniform and non-uniform officers physically removing some protesters from the scene.
Some protesters chanted, “Jews, wake up. Jewish blood will not be abandoned.”
Far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir spoke in support of the protesters at the rally. “There is no demand more just than to prosecute those who harm our loved ones,” he said.
On Thursday, demonstrators at a protest in the same location could be seen holding a large poster depicting a yellow star, reminiscent of those Nazis forced Jews to wear during World War II, emblazoned with the words “hilltop youth.”
Last Saturday night, four cops were wounded and 21 people were arrested at a similar riot in the same location. And last Thursday, at least 10 protesters were arrested after hurling rocks at police officers and smashing the window of a cop car.
The far-right legal aid organization Honenu, which is representing those detained, said that police used excessive force, including by firing a water cannon at a girl who was protesting on the street last week.
Sandak’s death has sparked clashes between police and protesters over the past year, with the protesters claiming police were responsible for his death and demanding legal action.
Sandak, a resident of the Bat Ayin settlement, was fleeing Border Police in a car with three other youths on December 21, 2020, when the car flipped over, killing him. According to police, Sandak’s group fled from police before losing control of their vehicle. Sandak’s defenders view his death as a police killing; they allege that the police car hit his vehicle from behind, causing it to run off the road.