Jaffa rally protests Islamic Movement advances


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jewish right-wing activists demonstrated on a main street in Jaffa to protest what organizers see as the "Islamic Movement gaining control over the city."

At least 16 counterdemonstrators were arrested during Wednesday’s march as a result of clashes with police.

Arab store owners closed their shops to protest the march and local residents came out to heckle the protesters, who were led by lawmaker Michael Ben-Ari and activists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Baruch Marzel. Hundreds of police and security officials protected the marchers and the route.

Israel’s Supreme Court had approved the march, though it ordered the organizers to change the route so that it did not pass through the Arab Ajami neighborhood.

The Islamic Movement recently held a rally in Jaffa with about 1,000 demonstrators. Some chanted anti-Israel slogans and waved Palestinian flags.

Approximately 46,000 residents in Jaffa; some 17,000 are Israeli Arabs.

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