Hundreds rally in Jerusalem and Haifa as anti-police protests spread

Two arrested as demonstrators take to the streets following violent clashes on Saturday in Tel Aviv; police car burned in capital’s Arnona neighborhood

Protesters in Jerusalem Sunday night. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Protesters in Jerusalem Sunday night. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Some 300 protesters gathered in downtown Jerusalem on Sunday night to rally against the “police state,” a day after 85 people were arrested in Tel Aviv as demonstrations there turned violent.

About 150 people also gathered in Haifa to protest what they said was police brutality over the weekend. Protesters also rallied against the high cost of living.

Large police forces were dispatched to keep an eye on both protests, which remained mostly peaceful although there were some reports by activists of police brutality in the capital.

In Jerusalem, protesters chanted “Enough of the police state,” and “The people demand democracy.” At 10 p.m. police forces began to forcibly clear demonstrators out and two people were arrested.

The demonstration in Jerusalem took place near Zion Square, which was recently put off limits to protesters because of its proximity to the city’s light rail line. Demonstrators reportedly tried to block trains and marched to a police station in the nearby Russian Compound.

In Haifa, protesters said they may block roads for a short time, with police permission.

In the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem, a police car went up in flames late Sunday night, but it was unclear whether the incident was related to the earlier protest. An investigation into that event is ongoing.

On Friday night, police arrested several protest leaders who were trying to set up tents on Rothschild Boulevard in an attempt to restart the socioeconomic protests of last summer.

Thousands of people turned out Saturday in Tel Aviv to protest the arrests. Demonstrators clashed with police, blocked roads and broke bank windows. Several arrested protesters said they were violently manhandled by police.

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