Several thousand Arabs led by Arab nationalist Knesset members participated in a procession through the Israeli city of Umm el-Fahm near Megiddo Tuesday evening. The demonstration was held in protest of Israeli military operations in Gaza and involved incidents of rock throwing at Israeli cars.
The crowd chanted "Israel, the mother of terror" and held a sign that read "Stop the Zionazi" in English. Additional slogans were "Rest, O martyr, we will complete the task," "Warm blessings to the rock children," as well as the standard "With blood and spirit, we will redeem Palestine." The participants held Syrian and PLO flags. Some of them covered their faces with keffiyehs, or traditional headdresses, in the manner of terrorist thugs.
Arab Knesset members from several factions spoke to the crowd and reviled Israel for what they called "the massacre in Gaza." The speakers also justified the rocket fire on Israel and insisted it was a reaction to Israeli actions.
Umm el-Fahm Mayor Sheikh Abd-el Rachman demanded that Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the PA , and Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader in Gaza, stop fighting and join hands. He said that "resistance" (a code word for armed attacks) should continue alongside peace talks.
Towards the end of the rally, Arab youths threw rocks at passing Israeli vehicles on Highway 65. Police arrested two suspects.
No one was hurt in the rock-throwing incidents and no damage was caused..
An Arab source told Haaretz newspaper that the organizers had expected more people to take part in procession. "I would have expected twice as many people," he said. "Perhaps we have lost the momentum."
Arab MKs enjoy full rights as legislators yet regularly denounce Israel and side with its enemies. A former Knesset Member, Azni Bishara, fled from Israel after the intelligence services discovered he had held apparently treasonous contacts with Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War. MK Ahmed Tibi is Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and has a large poster of PLO founder and terror master Yasser Arafat on the wall of his knesset office.