Israeli Arab leaders call for strike
Zahalka calls PM, Barak "pirates"; Rivlin calls for restraint.
By REBECCA ANNA STOIL, JPOST.COM STAFF
May 31, 2010 11:32
2 minute read.
(photo credit: Courtesy [file])
The IDF and police prepared for the possibility of violence as Israeli Arab
leaders called for a general strike on Monday in the wake of reports that
15 protesters were announced dead among the "Free Gaza" flotilla.Border police took
positions in the area to prevent the outbreak of any disturbances.
MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad),
whose party member Haneen Zuabi was reportedly detained after being
onboard one of the vessels, called for a general strike and protests
throughout Israel on Monday and Tuesday, saying that a “massacre was
carried out on the boats” in the operation that was planned weeks in
advance, whose “results were not a matter of chance.”
Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu and [Defense Minister Ehud] Barak gave
instructions to prevent the ships’ entrance at any price,” Zahalka said.
“This morning it became clear what that price was.”
lawmaker continued to say that this was a “war crime and pirate
operation, commanded over by the pirate captains Netanyahu and Barak”
and called on both to either resign or to be prosecuted in an
Meanwhile, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin
called on Israeli Arabs to maintain restraint and not to be drawn into
“We are all a unified front against continuing the
conflict between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East,” Rivlin said.
District police chief Cmdr. Shimon Koren completed a security evaluation in the North on Monday morning, and ordered a high
state of alert as well as instructed police officers to be ready "for the
possibility of any scenario or attempt to cause a disturbance."
called for restraint in the northern district, home to a large number
of Arab Israelis.
In the North, dozens of local youth came out
on later in the day to protest at the Umm el-Fahm junction.The
protesters waved Palestinian flags and held anti-Israel placards in
solidarity with the international aid activists who were killed in the
storming of the "Free Gaza" flotilla.
of Arab students at the University of Haifa also demonstrated Monday
afternoon against the IDF assault on the flotilla.The
demonstrators were met by a smaller counter-demonstration of Jewish
students supporting the IDF's actions.
Police were called by the
university administration to establish order during the unapproved
event. One of the police officers was lightly injured in the
confrontation and one of the protesters was arrested.
West Bank, dozens of Palestinian protesters gathered at the
Kalandia checkpoint to show solidarity with the international activists
killed in the IDF raid.
Demonstrations are expected to continue Israeli and the
territories throughout the day.