Originally published by Ma’an News Agency on December 1, 2013.
A global “Day of Rage” against the Prawer Plan took place in nearly 30 cities worldwide on Saturday, Nov. 30., and dozens were detained as Israeli police attacked protests across Israel and the West Bank.
Large demonstrations in more than 14 countries united Palestinians, Israelis, and citizens of many other countries in protest against the plan, which if implemented will displace tens of thousands of Bedouins from their homes in southern Israel.
Although the protests were largely peaceful worldwide, protestors were met with force within Israel, as Israeli police attacked the large demonstrations in the Negev, Haifa, Umm al-Fahm and Jerusalem, detaining dozens.
Protestors in the West Bank were also met with force, and three Palestinians were detained as they marched near Ramallah towards the Israeli settlement of Bet El.
Particularly striking about the protests inside Israel were that Israeli police used violent tactics of “riot dispersal” commonly used against Palestinians in the West Bank but rarely seen within Israel.
The majority of demonstrators in the Negev, Haifa, Jaffa, and Jerusalem were Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, a factor that activists said encouraged Israeli police to use levels of violence rarely witnessed by majority-Jewish protesters.
Israeli activist Tom Pessah commented on the high levels of police violence against the protest in a Facebook post, saying, “One easy way to measure caste differences within our apartheid system- the leeway the police gives to different parts of the population to protest and the type of violence used towards each group.”
“Ashkenazi Jews during the social protests of 2011 could block roads with much less brutality than Mizrahim [Jews of Middle Eastern descent] suffered in their tents.”
“Palestinians in Haifa are getting beaten up, Bedouins in the South apparently got sprayed tonight with skunk water like in Bilin, etc. And none of that is like Jerusalem, which is somewhat better than the West Bank, which isn’t as bad as Gaza.”
“Tell me how you’re getting brutalized and I’ll tell you who you are,” he added.Below are videos taken by citizen journalists in protests across Israel and the West Bank Saturday evening.
13-year-old Raed Salem al-Sayed being detained in the Negev town of Hura:
Protestors in Jerusalem confronted by Israeli police:
Israeli police launching stun grenades at protests in Umm al-Fahm: