Haifa, hundreds of Jews and Arabs 'refuse to be enemies'
Three days of protests. At the first of May 18, 21 Israeli Arabs were arrested. The police intervened with excessive use of force. Gaza: the number of victims of the May protest 14 rises. A 20 year old boy sets himself on fire. UN: "Trapped in a toxic slum from life to death"
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - "Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies". This is one of the slogans that hundreds of Jewish and Arab protesters chanted in Haifa, northern Israel, over the last weekend.
Yesterday, the participants showed solidarity with the people of the Strip and protested for the arrest of 21 Israeli Arabs on May 18. Groups of young activists poured onto the streets with Palestinian flags. The demonstration was suppressed according to some witnesses with excessive use of force. The police has rejected the charge, claiming that the 21 arrests of Palestinians were conducted "legally and according to procedures".
The next day, about 200 Jews and Arabs resumed demonstrating calling for peace and the end of the escalation of violence in Gaza. The demonstration continued yesterday, with the participation of 300 people. The investigative department of the Israeli Ministry of Justice opened an investigation into the alleged "brutality" of the police. Of the arrested, 19 were released this morning, and two more will be released in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, the number of deaths due to the violence of May 14 is rising: two protesters of 20 and 58 died from their injuries, bringing the total to 64. Criticism of the decision of the Israeli armed forces insistence on using real bullets against demonstrators is mounting. On May 18, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted a resolution calling for an independent investigation into the May 14 clashes.
UNHRC director Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein described the Israeli response as "disproportionate" and raised the alarm on the situation of Palestinians in the Strip: "They are, in essence, trapped in a toxic slum from birth until to death". Yesterday morning, a 20-year-old Palestinian set himself on fire in Gaza city. It seems that the young man was asking for money and food for his family.