Druse, Circassians protest in Jerusalem

Hundreds of demonstrators protest discriminatory gov't funding of local authorities; 3 men arrested.

arab demo 88 248 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
arab demo 88 248
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Hundreds of Israeli Druse and Circassians demonstrated outside the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on Sunday morning and clashed with police forces. In light of the demonstration, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Interior Minister Eli Yishai met with a delegation of Druse and Circassian leaders, Army Radio reported. Police arrested three protesters after several people tried to break into the compound. Seven policemen and two demonstrators were lightly wounded in the clashes. The demonstrators were protesting what they called discrimination against them in the allocations of funds for local authorities in their towns and villages. They called on the government to cancel the local authorities' outstanding debts, to create income sources and to increase government funds to the Druse and Circassian villages. "In war, a Jew and a Druse are equal, in the budget, ten Druse children are like one Jewish child," read one banner held by the protesters. The demonstrators hurled water bottles, tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs at police, and waved flags, including the Israeli flag, Israel Radio reported.