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Politicians cry out against anarchism after attack on Tel Aviv protester


Protesters have called for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign immediately

Various politicians spoke out on Wednesday after about a dozen men attacked protesters in Tel Aviv with pepper spray, rocks and chairs.
The protesters were marching as part of the ongoing demonstrations throughout the country against the unsatisfactory manner in which they perceive the government to be functioning amid the coronavirus pandemic. Protesters have called for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign immediately.

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Protesters began demonstrating across the street from the residence of Public Security Minister Amir Ohana, who had in recent days attempted to stop the demonstrations which were happening in front of the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem. Their signs read, "Ohana - We have the right to protest!" and "I won't stay silent as my country changes."
Afterwards, protesters moved towards the center of town. As they passed Dizengoff Center and moved East towards the Tel Aviv Cinemateque, a group of far-right protesters ran through the crowd, attacking demonstrators in varying manners.
"I saw an attack with a chair, and later on, I saw someone being hit in the head with a stone: not thrown, but rammed into his head," Jonah Clarfield, a protester and eye witness to the attack, told The Jerusalem Post. "He fell, began bleeding. Some of the protesters chased after the attackers, other protesters came to provide medical assistance to the people who were injured."
Clarfield explained that the police on location, which was on the sidelines and prepared to intervene if there is "public disorder and disturbances" did not act when the attackers came barging through the crowd.
"No police officer came to help," Clarfield said. "Some of the people went to the police officers and said, 'Look at what is happening. Protesters are being attacked.' They were told to dial 100 (police hotline)."
"Police are investigating the local incident that happened in Tel Aviv during the protest when there was a fight between two groups," the Police Spokesperson's Unit told the Post. The spokesperson addressed the alleged attack as a fight which broke out between the protesters and those who came in and attacked. "Police detained one man at the scene."
Peace Now, an NGO promoting a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, shared a post on Twitter, claiming that the attackers were part of the far-right group La Familia, which has been known to be violent due to political differences in past conflicts.
In the Twitter post, the NGO shared a photograph of Transportation Minister Miri Regev (Likud) with her arms around members of La Familia, suggesting her involvement with the group and therefore with the people who attacked protesters on Tuesday night.
"There is no room for violence for any reason," Netanyahu said in response to the attack. "There is also no room for incitement and threats of murder, explicit and implicit, against me and my family, including the shameful threat of crucifixion today in Tel Aviv."
The prime minister then abruptly changed topics, instead speaking about acts of violence by protesters. "When a police officer is severely beaten by protests in front of the Prime Minister's Residence and is in need of surgery, or when threats of murder are published against me and my family daily ... the media and many public figures choose to ignore it."
"The violence and blood spilled yesterday in Tel Aviv is on the hands of Bibi and his emissaries," Opposition Leader and Yesh Atid-Telem head Yair Lapid said in response to the attack. "Whoever sows incitement will receive blood. Calling protesters to spread disease, and inciting against civilians protesting, is leading Israel into a civil war."
In response, Netanyahu said that Lapid, much like former prime minister Ehud Barak, "encourages groups of anarchists whose goal is to violate public order and undermine the foundations of Israeli society."
Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn (Blue and White) tweeted that "those who attacked the protesters [on Tuesday] are the real anarchists."
"Divisive hatred has crumbled and continues to crumble the people of Israel, whose true strength is in its unity," said Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz. "No one will silence protests in Israel as long as we are here."
La-Familia announced in a Facebook group to its members that they will be gathering on Thursday evening, after the end of Tisha Be'av, at the First Station in Jerusalem, sending a message to protesters: "Leftist rags, pay attention: the rules of the game are changing from now on."
הלילה במהלך צעדת הפגנה בתל אביב הותקפו מפגינים על ידי חבורה של כ 12 בחורים באמצעות אגרופים, אלות, מקלות וגז פלפל. במהלך האירוע הופיעו 3 שוטרים סמויים ובאופן תמוה לא עצרו אף אחד מהכנופיה. כך נראה התיעוד... שתפו!
Posted by Asaf Shafir on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

President Reuven Rivlin warned the citizens that "the murder of a protester that goes out to demonstrat and the murder of a prime minister in Israel are not imaginary circumstances."
He called on citizens to stop all violence.


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