City-Wide Strike In Umm Al-Fahm Set To Protest 'Police Brutality, Racism'

"(YNETNEWS)
A city-wide strike is set to take place in the northern Israeli Arab town of Umm al-Fahm in condemnation of the ""exaggerated violence"" directed at protestors by the police. The protestors pelted stones at right-wing activists that stormed the town on Wednesday morning, and torched tires.

The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee called for the strike. The committee is demanding that the president and prime minister set up an investigation committee to look into the violent events. It also announced that it intends file an official complaint with the Police Internal Investigations Department.

""What happened today was a very dangerous occurrence,"" said Mohammed Zeidan, chairman of the committee. ""This wasn't a Marzel incident; it was an attack by security forces who came to the city with the intent of attacking us."" Approximately 25 radical right-wing activists rallied in Umm al-Fahm and called for the Islamic Movement to be outlawed. A few dozen protestors, including Knesset members, Arab leaders, city residents and peace activists gathered to oppose them. The demonstration was secured by 1,300 police officers, hundreds of whom formed a barrier between the two groups.

The police began firing stun grenades and tear gas at the protestors minutes after the arrival of the right-wing activists. Zeidan claimed that these actions were premeditated and intentional.

""They planted undercover officers among us who threw stones in order to attack,"" he said. ""Their decision was clear from the beginning, even though they knew there were Knesset members in the crowd.""