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Protesters of All Kinds Claim Police Brutality in Jerusalem

Dozens of police officers and municipal enforcement officials arrived early Monday morning at the site of a month-old sit-down protest in front of the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, dismantling tents, confiscating equipment and injuring six protesters, one of whom suffered a broken arm. The demonstrators have been staked out on the street for several weeks demanding that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – standing trial on corruption charges – resign. The demonstrators said that they received a permit and coordinated their actions with the police and that despite this, the officers presented no warrant or official notice before loading their trucks with equipment and violently confronting the protesters. Claims of police brutality in Jerusalem also arose Sunday evening as hundreds of residents in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods protested the coronavirus-induced lockdowns that the government has imposed in select locations around Israel. After minor skirmishes with police officers, the protesters managed to break through roadblocks, torching trashcans and setting car tires alight. Ultra-Orthodox officials and members of parliament in the past week claimed their communities were targeted for over-enforcement and discrimination, while health officials explained that the lockdown locations were based solely on statistical evidence of virus “hotspots.” Jerusalem leads the country in daily cases reported, with over 450 in the last three days. Overall, at least 1,150 new cases were diagnosed in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of people with active cases to 19,300 – more than 150 of them in serious condition. A similar number, 19,008, have recovered, and 362 have died from COVID-19.