Police clash with Arab MKs at US embassy protest in Jerusalem

Out of some 200 protesters, the police arrested 14 of the protesters.

Protests outside the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018 (photo credit: JOINT LIST)
Protests outside the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018
(photo credit: JOINT LIST)
Police officers and protesters clashed outside the US embassy inauguration ceremony on Monday.
Videos distributed on social networks showed policemen pushing and arguing with Joint List Arab MKs that included Jamal Zahalka, Yousef Jabareen and Masoud Ghanaim.
Videos also showed policemen confiscating Palestinian flags that were waved in the protests.
Other MKs who attended the protest were Ayman Odeh, Ahmad Tibi, Aida Touma Sliman, Taleb Abu Arar, Dov Henin and Muhammad Barake, chairman of the High-Follow Up Committee for the Arab Citizens of Israel.
Out of the 200 protesters who attended, the police arrested 14 people.
In a statement, it said that “protesters did not keep to the terms that the protestors had agreed upon with police.
“They chanted Allah Akbar and police removed the flags from the demonstrators,” it said. “Regular police security measures continue in and around the area of Jerusalem.”
The protested were holding signs in Hebrew, Arabic, and English reading “al-Quds is the capital of Palestine,” and “al-Quds is Arab – Muslim and Christian.”
One of the signs said: “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine – despite the will of Trump and Netanyahu.”
Some protesters complained that several of the buses taking the group to the demonstration were stalled by the police at Latrun and Damascus Gate.
Among the protesters were also left-wing NGO Peace Now.
In a statement sent prior to the demonstration, the NGO explained its resistance to the US embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“This populist move, taken unilaterally and without any recognition of Palestinians’ attachment to Jerusalem and their national aspirations for sovereignty over the Palestinian-inhabited parts of the city, is a boon to extremists on both sides,” it said. “Israeli Jewish extremists, who view the conflict and its resolution as a zero-sum game and reject any future Palestinian sovereignty in East Jerusalem, interpret Trump’s move as an endorsement of their worldview.
Palestinian extremists, particularly those who see the conflict as a religious war, interpret Trump’s move as an affirmation of the widespread view that the ‘Crusader West’ is colluding with Zionism to deny Muslims’ attachment to the third holiest site to Islam and thus to challenge their faith,” it continued.
“Playing into the hands of the extremists and framing the conflict as religious strife, even if inadvertently, weakens the pragmatists who should be emboldened as interlocutors for peace negotiations.
Recognizing Israeli political claims to Jerusalem without any recognition of Palestinian aspirations in this holy city wrecks America’s role as an honest, effective broker,” it added.
Meanwhile, the situation remained relatively calm across the east Jerusalem neighborhoods.
There was a heavy police and Border Police presence, which was felt in the area of the Old City and the adjacent neighborhoods.