General strike called Tuesday for Arab sector to protest police, support al-Aksa

Joint List MKs set to visit Temple Mount on Wednesday.

Nazareth  (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The Arab Higher Monitoring Committee has called a general strike for Tuesday, with a major protest planned for the northern city of Sakhnin.
The Committee called for the strike in response to recent events, including what it claims is the police’s quick resort to shooting Arabs and what it sees as a “danger” posed to al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount, The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Ma’ariv reported.
All Joint List MKs and members of the Committee are also planning to visit al-Aksa on the Temple Mount on Wednesday, despite an order by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prohibiting MKs from visiting the site.
Tensions have been focused on the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem, the most sacred site in Judaism, where the two Temples once stood.
It also houses al-Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, which are sacred to Muslims.
The Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, an organization that coordinates Arab political action, is made up of Arab MKs, municipal leaders, and other community figures.
The strike will shut businesses and schools, and coincide with a general strike in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, said the report.
In addition, a large demonstration is planned for the city of Sakhnin (near Acre and Karmiel), which members of the Monitoring Committee and Joint List MKs are expected to attend.
“We demand an immediate halt to the provocative visits of right-wingers to al-Aksa. We demand the cancellation of all restrictions on the entry of Muslims to the mosque,” Balad chairman and Joint List MK Jamal Zahalka said.
“Netanyahu continues to pour oil on the flames with his extreme statements and his attempt to restrict freedom of political action by threatening to outlaw the Islamic Movement, and his call to prosecute MK Haneen Zoabi because she called for a popular struggle,” he added.
Ta’al chairman and Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi accused Netanyahu of permitting a “Wild West-like” atmosphere with “executions of Arabs on the streets of Israel.”
“The Palestinians do not need incitement because the Israeli government and its decisions, the occupation, and the injustices are the incitement that motivates the anger of the Palestinians,” he said.
Separately, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel – accused Israeli police on of acting too aggressively and intimidating Arab protesters. More than 80 protesters were arrested at the weekend during demonstrations involving stone-throwing and tire burnings in northern Israel, police said.
Adalah alleged that the arrests violated democratic rights of citizens to protest.
“Israeli police, backed by the courts, are trying to prevent legitimate protest by Arab Palestinians against government policy by brutal and illegal means,” a statement from the group said.
The NGO also accused police of arresting the parents of political activists, and accusing them of inciting terrorism.