Far-right march sparks rioting

JERUSALEM (JTA) — About 28 people were injured in rioting sparked by a far-right march near the Israeli-Arab town of Uhm al-Fahm.

Some 100 far-right wing demonstrators marched for less an hour Tuesday morning led by Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union Party and right-wing activists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel.

Stone-throwing demonstrators wounded 15 policemen, including Deputy Police Commissioner Shahar Ayalon, and 12 Israeli-Arab Umm al-Fahm residents were hurt in scuffles with police, Ha’aretz reported, citing  Magen David Adom emergency services. Knesset member Ilan Ghilon of the left-wing Meretz Party, who took part in a counter-demonstration, was injured by tear gas fired by police.

More than 2,500 police were deployed in the area to secure the march. Police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the counter-demonstration by left-wing protesters and Umm al-Fahm residents, threw rocks at the marchers, saying the counter-demonstrators had no permit. 

The right-wing protesters traveled to the demonstration in bullet-proof buses. 

A general strike, including businesses, schools and government offices, was called in the northern Israeli town on Tuesday to protest the demonstration.

The march had been scheduled for December but was canceled by police out of fear that riots would break out. Israel’s Supreme Court ordered police to allow the march to take place within six weeks of Israel’s national elections Feb. 10.
 

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