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Social protests turn violent in Tel Aviv

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Social protests in Tel Aviv turned violent as demonstrators shattered windows and attempted to break into banks.

Some 2,000 people gathered Saturday night in Habima Square protesting against socioeconomic inequality as well as police violence. Eighty-five people were arrested, Haaretz reported.

Though the police called to indict some 37 of the demonstrators, the Tel Aviv Magistrates’ Court on Sunday ordered the release of all the protesters, since none of them have a police record. The court suggested that police should have released them for the duration of the proceedings, according to Haaretz.   

The demonstration spread to banks in Tel Aviv as well as City Hall. Windows were smashed in at least five bank branches, according to reports. The protesters also blocked main thoroughfares in the center of the city.

Some 24 hours earlier, 12 activists were arrested in social protests in Tel Aviv, including Daphni Leef, a high-profile activist leader. Protesters in the Friday night protests accused police of excessive violence.

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