Police commander Lt. Gen. Ofer Shomer commented on Sunday night on the violent clashes that broke out between police and left-wing demonstrators in central Jerusalem.
"Unfortunately, even though we informed the organizers that we would not allow them to demonstrate at the entrance to the city, they started an illegal procession at the entrance to the city," he said.
"During the procession, in my opinion as a result of incitement based on what I saw on social media, they shouted at the police and blatantly violated the law. They cursed cops and insulted us along the way."
"They treated the police in a blatant and ugly way," Shomer added. "There is no leadership here, there is a barbarism here of all kinds of groups."
"This was an illegal hate demonstration against the police. The demonstrators use our first names, incite against us and threaten to settle scores with us. There is a detective who was taken to hospital with a suspected broken rib, a policeman was punched and another had a rock was thrown at him," he concluded.
Earlier, around 11:30 p.m. police forces began dispersing protesters who gathered at Paris Square. The demonstration was dispersed around midnight. A total of 30 demonstrators were arrested.
Footage on social media showed Deputy Superintendent Nisso Guetta beating demonstrators using force and violence. Commenting on that incident, Shomer said, “From an initial probe we did with Nisso Guetta, he claimed he was attacked by two protesters who also removed his mask. The issue will be investigated later."
In the wake of the police violence against the protesters, the “Crime Minister” movement said, "The Balfour police led by Doron Yadid are a bullying political police force that is taking the law into its own hands again. This is a declaration of war on protest and freedom of expression. Violence will not deter us. The tens of thousands who arrived tonight in Balfour and the entire country will not stop until the accused who crushed the economy and democracy leaves."