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Friday, December 18 2009 Report from the Protest March to Sheikh Jarrah
Four hundred activists from across Israel participated in the weekly protest march from the Mashbir to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The police did not authorize the march and thus the protestors divided into several groups that came together at the entrance to the neighborhood, where a police blockage awaited them. The protestors ultimately passed through the blockade and joined the other protestors who had arrived earlier.
Although the protest was non-violent, the police felt it necessary to conduct arrests in order to fulfill its weekly quota. One protestor was arrested already in the Mashbir Square, 8 during the march and 18 more in the neighborhood itself. One of the protestors heard one of the policemen say: “is there room for another protestor in the van?” This pattern continues out of a clear agenda by the authorities to repress and prevent the protests.
When the protest came to a close at around 4:30 p.m., settlers and other rightwing protestors entered the neighborhood and began provoking the residents. Stones were thrown between them and the residents of the neighborhood. Five Palestinians, among them a young child, were injured and required medical attention. The rightwing protestors then moved to the main road and continued to throw stones, and stones were thrown back. A rightwing protestor was injured and two Palestinians were arrested.
Those arrested at the protest were brought to the Russian Compound, while organizers and lawyers had a consultation outside. Of all those arrested, 9 had arrived on a bus from Tel Aviv, so the bus and the rest of the passengers arrived at the compound to show support for those arrested. After a consultation, and once it became clear there was no chance of getting those arrested released, the bus returned to Tel Aviv.