Over 3,000 Israeli Arabs protested and threw stones and bottles at police during a “Day of Rage” protest in Nazareth Monday, against the IDF's operation in Gaza against Hamas's constant barrage of rocket fire on Israeli civilians.
The protesters marched through the city and onto the main highway outside town, waving PLO flags and shouting anti-Israel epithets.
Police tried to hold the crowd back, but were only partially successful. Protesters threw rocks and bottles at police as a full-fledged riot ensued, with police using anti-rioting defense measures to break up the crowd.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said around 200 Arab Israelis in Nazareth clashed with security forces, who responded with water cannons and stun grenades, arresting 10 people after the 3,000-strong demonstration in Israel's largest Arab city.
Demonstrators held up placards reading "Israeli army commits genocide in Gaza," an AFP correspondent said.
Similar protests have been held in other Israeli Arab towns over the past several days; on Saturday, for example, Arabs in Kafr Kana rioted and faced off against police. Israeli drivers have been advised to avoid Kafr Kana, Nazareth, and other large Arab towns, as the atmosphere is very charged and a riot could ensue at any moment, security officials said.
As part of the “Day of Rage,” the Arab High Monitoring Committee, a self-styled organization that claims to represent a large majority of Israeli Arabs, ordered Israeli Arabs to close their businesses in protest over the IDF's activities against Hamas.
In response, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) called on Israelis to boycott Arab businesses that take part in a strike called by an Arab group over the situation in Gaza.
On his Facebook page, Liberman wrote that he “called on everyone not to buy in Arab sector stores and businesses that participate in the strike over the IDF's activities against Gaza terrorists in Operation Protective Edge.” Those who participated in the boycott, Liberman said, were acting against the interests of Israel, and Israelis should not support them, he added.