Thousands rallied in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv on Saturday evening in protest of home demolitions targeting Palestinian citizens of Israel, with demonstrators calling the Israeli state’s demolition campaign “racist” and an act of “incitement” against Palestinian citizens.
Protesters reportedly called on Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan to resign for “lying” to the Israeli public, saying they held him responsible for the killings that took place during a raid to evacuate the Negev region Bedouin community of Umm al-Hiran last month.
Local math teacher in Umm al-Hiran Yacoub Abu al-Qian was shot dead on Jan. 18 by police before Israeli authorities demolishes more than a dozen structures in the village, with authorities claiming he was carrying out a deliberate vehicular attack, in contradiction to numerous eyewitness reports and video evidence that attested his car spun out of control only after Israeli police opened fired on him.
Some 5,000 Palestinian and Jewish citizens joined the march Saturday night, traveling from Jerusalem and across Israel to protest the demolitions and the Israeli state’s discriminatory policies against Palestinian citizens in general.
Members of a local committee from Umm al-Hiran also participated, with at least four busloads of Palestinian and Jewish citizens from the Negev arriving to join the rally.
Demonstrators raised posters in Arabic and Hebrew, including the slogans: “When the government is against the people, the people will be against the government,” “Enough of the government’s racism…we demand equality,” and “Jewish and Arabs together, we fight fascism.”