2 arrested outside Peres event in Nazareth

60 Israeli Arabs protest outside cultural center where president is visiting; 2 Balad members arrested for attacking police.

February 20, 2012 12:52
1 minute read.
Protest outside of Peres event in Nazareth

Protest outside of Peres event in Nazareth 390. (photo credit: YAAKOV LAPPIN)

Two members of the Balad political party were arrested for disturbing the peace and for attacking police officers at a demonstration outside a cultural center in Nazareth, Israel Police reported.

Approximately 60 Israeli Arabs were holding a demonstration outside a cultural center in Nazareth where President Shimon Peres was visiting Monday.

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The protesters were waving Palestinian flags and shouting slogans in Arabic, including: "From Qana to Nazareth, we have no defense."

The president was scheduled to address a gathering of some 150 local dignitaries, some of whom will brief him on the city’s plans for the development of tourism and hi-tech.

The visit was set to include a trip to the municipal library for a story telling session with young children and a question and answer session with some 200 Christian and Muslim high-school students.

President Shimon Peres had decided to go ahead with his official visit to Nazareth as planned despite earlier threats of a protest by the Islamic Movement and the Balad party.

Nazareth Mayor Ramiz Jaraisy told Israel Radio on Friday that he was confident he would be welcoming the president to his city on Monday.

Referring to the possibility of demonstration, Jaraisy said protest is perfectly legitimate providing that it is conducted in a civilized fashion. But he saw no reason for a protest demonstration to hinder a presidential visit.

Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.

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