Israel police reacts with brutality towards Nakba protestors

18 May

Two separate news articles reveal Israel’s police brutality towards Nakba protestors.

In one ground report, Jonathan Cook described in great detail the disproportional police violence by Israeli paramilitary police against protestors, many of them with children, who were marching in the village of Saffuriya, Nazareth. As he relates,

Dozens of marchers were injured, including women and children, and two Arab Knesset members, Mohammed Barakeh and Wassel Taha, were bloodied by police batons. Mounted police charged into the crowds, while stun grenades and tear gas were liberally fired into fields being crossed by families. Eight youths were arrested.

A video link from his report (embedded video above) shows how violent the police was. While the Western media has constantly decried authoritarian regimes for suppressing peaceful protests e.g. the military government of Burma against peaceful demonstrators last year, it has often chosen not to report on such activities when Israel commits the same atrocities. This reeks of double standards and censorship.

Real News Network also reported police violence in other Nakba processions.

Israeli troops fired live rounds and tear gas at dozens of Palestinians throwing stones in a confrontation at the Erez border crossing between Israel and Gaza. Hamas police claim three Palestinians were wounded. Clashes also erupted in the West bank checkpoint of Qalandiya.

Leaving the debate on the Occupation aside, Israel should be held accountable for its shameful treatment towards peaceful protestors. If its police force is allowed to react with violence that we commonly only associate with authoritarian governments, then how can the Israel state claim to be the only liberal and functioning democracy in the Middle East?

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