Demonstrators claim 6 injured as police clear protest encampment

Police dismantle protest encampment near Prime Minister's Residence. 6 reportedly injured in resulting clashes with protesters.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Scene of the protest
Scene of the protest
Aryeh King

Israeli police and Jerusalem city officials cleared an illegal street encampment Monday morning set up by demonstrators near the Prime Minister’s Residence in the capital.

Organizers of the demonstration, which is part of the “black flag” protests against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over allegations of corruption, said that six demonstrators were injured during the clearing out of the street encampment.

This is the second time authorities cleared out the illegal encampment.

Police and municipal workers first cleared away the encampment on Sunday, before returning to the site at roughly 5:40 a.m. Monday, confiscating tents, mattresses, chairs, protest signs, portable gazebos, and other equipment and materials.

While demonstrators claimed they had received permission for the protest, police said in a statement that the encampment had been set up without a permit.

Jerusalem city officials confirmed the police department’s claim that the encampment was set up without permission.

City councilman Aryeh King said the municipality had decided to intervene following a wave of complaints against the demonstrators, who he said had behaved “lawlessly” during the protest.

“They parked their cars on the sidewalk, parked cars in front of crosswalks, the protesters defecated and urinated on city streets, they hung up signs on walls without the owners’ permission, they blocked roads, blocked sidewalks, thereby endangering pedestrians who were forced to walk in the public transportation lane of the street; they used loudspeakers during [afternoon] rest hours – there was a total breakdown of law enforcement here against these criminals, and we understood that the longer this is allowed to go on, the worse it will get and the harder it will be to get things back to normal.”

Amir Haskel, a retired Israel Air Force general who has led the “black flag” protest movement against Netanyahu, accused police of perpetrating a “pogrom”, claiming that officers attacked protesters.

The police department and Jerusalem municipality denied the claim.

“Every allegation of use of violence has been examined and found to be false,” the city said in a statement.