Greek anarchists protest deepening Israel ties, US embassy move

Rubicon group members sneak into foreign ministry compound in Athens, leaving Palestinian flag, photos of slain Gazans to protest defense, energy cooperation with Jerusalem

Members of Greek anarchsit group Rubicon sneak inside the foreign ministry building in Athens on August 28, 2018. (screen capture: LiveLeak)
Members of Greek anarchsit group Rubicon sneak inside the foreign ministry building in Athens on August 28, 2018. (screen capture: LiveLeak)

A Greek anarchist group staged a protest Tuesday at Foreign Ministry building in central Athens to oppose Greek-Israeli energy and military cooperation as well as the decision by the United States to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

In the videotaped protest posted online, two members of the Greek anarchist group Rubicon climbed into the ministry compound and left a bag near the entrance.

The group said it contained a Palestinian flag and photographs of Palestinian protesters shot dead by Israeli forces during demonstrations that coincided with the US Embassy move in May.

No arrests were reported.

The view over Greece from the cockpit of an Israeli Air Force plane taking part in an aerial exercise over the European nation in June 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

Greece has improved ties with Israel in recent years, and the two countries hold regular military exercises in the region, often joined by US forces.

The latest joint drill came in June, when warplanes from both countries simulated a war on multiple fronts, including a significant bombing campaign against targets in the Gaza Strip. The IDF said 40 of its fighter jets, refueling planes and transport planes traveled to Greece for the exercise.

The drill came amid peak tensions in the Gaza border area, following multiple exchanges of mortar and rocket fire and violence along the security fence.

Over the past four months the “March of Return” protests have led to deadly clashes that saw Israeli security forces facing Palestinian gunfire, grenades, Molotov cocktails, and efforts — sometimes successful — to damage or cross the Gaza border fence.

In addition, balloons and kites launched from Gaza bearing incendiary devices have caused hundreds of fires in southern Israel that have burned thousands of acres of land.

At least 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the weekly protests began, the Hamas-run health ministry says. Hamas, a terror group that seized control of Gaza in 2007 and seeks to destroy Israel, has acknowledged that dozens of those killed were its members.

A picture taken on August 17, 2018 shows tear gas canisters thrown by Israeli forces at Palestinian protesters during a demonstration along the border of the Gaza Strip, east of Gaza City (AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS)

The demonstrations peaked on May 14, the day the US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, with 40,000 Palestinians taking part in the protests and clashes with Israeli soldiers along the border. Some 63 Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops that day. Hamas later acknowledged that 50 of them were their members.

Last year, members of Rubicon vandalized the Israeli embassy in Athens to protest Israeli government policies toward Palestinians.

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