Police dispersed rioting Umm El-Fahm Arabs with tear gas and stun grenades Wednesday morning as 70 nationalists arrived on buses to demand that the Islamic Movement be outlawed as a terror group.
Arabs began throwing bricks and large rocks at security forces as the buses arrived, and the police immediately tried to prevent the possibility of any confrontation with the nationalists, led by Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir. Five policemen were wounded, and two Arab Knesset Members claimed they were lightly injured.
Police distanced the Arabs the moment the activists’ buses entered the city, located on the highway between the central Mediterranean Coast and the Jordan Valley.
An Umm El-Fahm resident told Voice of Israel government radio that the nationalists "have no right to be here” and that if hundreds of police were not on hand, the Jewish protesters ”would not return home” alive. The radio channel also reported that “one Arab threw one stone”, but a live video showed that dozens of Arabs threw a large number of rocks and foreign objects at police.
The High Court overruled a police denial of a permit for the nationalists’ protest. It allowed them to demonstrate in front of Islamic Movement headquarters but barred the rally from approaching the home of Raad Salah, head of the northern chapter of the Islamic Movement.
The rally by the nationalists took place one day after the 20th anniversary since the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane in New York City. National Union Knesset Member Dr. Michael Ben-Ari told Voice of Israel that the nationalists were not demonstrating in the name of the outlawed Kach movement, which Rabbi Kahane founded.
MK Ben-Ari said that the Islamic Movement, whose northern branch is headquartered in Umm El-Fahm, incites terror and should be determined illegal. Its northern branch leader, Raad Salah, is serving time in jail for previous violations and has been imprisoned several times.
He also was on board the IHH-sponsored Mavi Mamara ship, where IHH terror activists attacked Navy commandos last May 31 while trying to break the Israeli maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza. Salah gave a fiery and inciting speech before the attack.