Des militants pacifistes et communistes arrêtés en Israël

Communist Party of Israel

Israeli police arrested 15 peace and communist

activists in East Jerusalem

Israel police arrested today (Friday, January 15, 2010) 15 peace protestors in the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, among them the CEO of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Hagai Elad and Hadash (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality – Communist Party of Israel) activists.

Peace and communist activists have held weekly demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah for the past three months, in protest of the eviction of Palestinians from their homes and their replacement with Jewish families.

At the onset of the demonstration, police declared it illegal and threatened to arrest its participants. An eye witness reported that police began arresting the main participants, Hagai Elad and a protestor waving a Palestinian flag among them.

In a statement, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel condemned its CEO’s arrest. “We harshly condemn the police’s suppression of the freedom of speech which had no legal grounds. The demonstration was forcefully scattered even though it took place legally, with no provocations or disruptions of public order,” it was written.

In the last two months alone, a combined total of more than thousands of protesters, the bulk of them young Israelis, have descended on the neighborhood for Friday afternoon protest marches, garnering a brutal response from police and Border Police officers in the area, who have carried out more than 80 arrests over this period.

Moreover, groups like the Committee against House Demolitions, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and Hadash have become more involved in protests in the area, joining groups like Rabbis for Human Rights that have been active in the neighborhood for over half a year.

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