Palestinian citizens of Israel on Wednesday were beaten by Israeli police in Jaffa when police used coronavirus lockdown rules as cover to crack down on the area’s Arab population.
Civilians took to the streets Wednesday afternoon to defend themselves after allegations that Israeli police had violently and disproportionately targeted Palestinians for breaking quarantine rules.
YESTERDAY: Palestinians of #Jaffa clash with Israeli police as at least 4 arrests allegedly related to enforcing coronavirus restrictions were made. Residents protested "police violence" pointing out that this kind of "harassment" started long before the outbreak of the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/ZJJL2TKbWy
— Activestills (@activestills) April 2, 2020
Videos emerged on Wednesday of large numbers of police crowding around and beating a Palestinian man who did not have his identification documents.
“This is police violence in Jaffa today”, The Mossawa Centre, a Haifa based advocacy group for Palestinian citizens of Israel said in a statement.
“There is clear selective enforcement of coronavirus rules and clearly shows the police are not adhering to social distancing rules themselves,” the group added.
More footage of clashes in Jaffa this afternoon between Israeli police and Arab residents pic.twitter.com/JU5YaYOvPJ
— Michael Shuval 🏳️🌈 (@MichaelShuval) April 1, 2020
In response to the police violence, Palestinian-Israelis in Jaffa began their protests, burning tires and skips in an attempt to deter the security forces from entering.
Israeli police stormed Jaffa with reinforcements and helicopters, locals say.
Palestinian citizens of Israel makeup 20 percent of the Israeli population and face systematic discrimination and complain of being treated as second-class citizens in comparison to their Jewish counterparts.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)