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Thousands protest police response to Arab crime; dissident MK Abbas chased away

16 6 10

Thousands of demonstrators marched Friday in the northern city of Umm al-Fahm to protest against what they called the police’s failure to stem a rising tide of violence in Arab communities.

The latest weekly protest came after a particularly violent demonstration last week, when police fired rubber-coated bullets, tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons as they dispersed hundreds of demonstrators. At least 35 protesters were injured, including Joint List parliamentarian Yousef Jabareen and the city’s mayor. Arab Israeli officials accused police of racist behavior and using excessive force and have demanded an investigation.

As the demonstration went on, police said some protesters began to launch fireworks and throw stones at officers on the scene. In videos, some demonstrators could be seen shooting firecrackers in the air.

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Protesters charged on Friday morning that police had deliberately closed off main roads leading to Umm al-Fahm in order to prevent the demonstration from taking place.

“Police are preventing people from coming to Umm al-Fahm because they are scared by both the protestors and the criminal organizations,” said Joint List head Ayman Odeh, who was at the protest. Thousands are seen protesting by the entrance of Umm al-Fahm on March 5, 2021. (Israel Police)

In a sign of the widening cracks in Arab Israeli politics, dissident Arab MK Mansour Abbas sought........

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