Land Day protests in Sakhnin 370.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Al Jazeera Arabic reporter Elias Karam and his crew were chased by a crowd of supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad at the Land Day protest in Sakhnin in the Galilee on Saturday. Karam took cover in a local restaurant until he was able to be spirited out shortly after.
Members of the crowd, some of them carrying Syrian flags, accused Al Jazeera of being one-sided, and a “propaganda outlet” that supports the Syrian rebels.
While the reporter was inside the restaurant and afterwards, scuffles broke out between pro-regime and anti-Assad groups, with some beating each other with sticks. Eventually, cooler heads prevailed and the crowd cleared out. A few people were lightly wounded and treated at the scene.
At no point did police arrive during the fracas, which lasted a little over half an hour.
The fights took place as protesters commemorated Land Day, which marks the 1976 protests against the government’s land appropriations, during which six Israeli Arabs were killed by Israeli forces.