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Protests in Jerusalem Attract Violent Detractors, Arrests

Israeli Police arrested 15 young men in Jerusalem late Thursday evening, charging that they intended to interfere with an anti-government protest near Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s official residence. The group, members of the Jerusalem soccer team’s extreme right-wing fan club La Familia, attacked protesters, policemen, journalists and Israeli Arabs passing by, hurled bricks at passing cars and chanted racist songs. An estimated 1,500 participants were otherwise well behaved, the rally remaining uneventful. The anti-Netanyahu protesters are expected to return to the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem in larger numbers on Saturday, while other demonstrations are staged elsewhere throughout the country. Over the past week, rallies in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv turned into ugly scenes, mostly after anti-protesters and Netanyahu supporters clashed with left-wing demonstrators. Five people were hospitalized on Tuesday, after being stabbed and beaten with clubs during a protest march in Tel Aviv.