Marzel, Ben-Gvir get approval for Rahat march

Police say they will carefully define route; Ben-Gvir: "We will tour Rahat despite the threats."

umm el-fahm march 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP)
umm el-fahm march 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
Police will allow right-wing activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir to march in the Beduin town of Rahat along with a small group of supporters, Army Radio reported Friday. However, police said they would carefully define and approve the marchers' route, a limitation the activists have opposed. "We will tour Rahat despite the threats, as we did in Umm el-Fahm," Ben-Gvir said, referring to a previous parade held in March. Sixteen policemen were wounded in riots that ensued then. "And we won't let lawbreakers run the country," he added. Marzel and Ben-Gvir, along with MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union), have announced their plans to stage 'Jewish pride parades' in 15 Arab towns. They have said that just as a gay pride parade is allowed in Jerusalem despite the sensitivity of the issue, so should their processions be authorized. "There has to be one rule for everyone," said the organizers. "Freedom of expression and the right to march are not only for the people of the [gay community's] Open House and the far Left. We have the right to march and review the illegal construction in the cities and the towns and, of course, to hold marches with Israeli flags." During the Umm el-Fahm march, rock-throwing and violent clashes with the town's residents prompted riot police to respond with stun grenades and tear gas. Sixteen policemen were lightly wounded, including deputy police chief Insp.-Gen. Shahar Ayalon. Some 2,500 officers flooded the area, forming a human shield around the approximately 100 marchers and their leaders, Ben-Gvir and Marzel. Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.