Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip continues tonight, and people across the world are taking to the streets to protest against the massive death toll. Even in Israel, though police are quick to crack down on protests against the strikes, the rallies continue.
Israeli police turned water hoses on protesters in the Israeli Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, and 12,000 officers are to be deployed across the Arab-heavy districts to disperse the protesters. “We live in a democratic country where everyone has the right to be heard, but we will not allow anything beyond the regular protests,” insists Israeli police chief Dudi Cohen.
Even the “regular protests” won’t be allowed near the Gaza Strip, however, as the Israeli military has banned public gatherings in areas near the Gaza border and is sorely limiting them in nearby towns. Protests in Northern Israel will be allowed, police assure, so long as they “don’t disrupt traffic.”
However a protest against the Gaza bombing in the West Bank village of Na’alin turned violent, as Israeli troops opened fire with live rounds on the protesters, killing one and seriously injuring another. It is unclear if the slain protester, Arafat Hawaja, is related to Muhammed Hawaja, the 12-year-old Na’alin resident the Israeli military placed in Ofer Prison for his role in a September protest in the village.