JERUSALEM (JTA) — Thousands of Jewish and Arab Israelis marched in Tel Aviv against home demolitions in the Bedouin and Arab communities.
An estimated 5,000 people waving both Israeli and Palestinian flags participated in the Saturday night march, which ended in Dizengoff Square. Several liberal Jewish and Arab organizations organized the protest.
Amal Abu Saad, whose husband was killed last month during the operation to raze illegal homes in the unrecognized Bedouin Negev village of Umm al-Hiran, told the protesters: “All of you, who are standing here today, you are proof that Jews and Arabs can and want to live together and with equality.”
The protesters objected to how security forces acted during the evacuation of Umm al-Hiran compared to the treatment of West Bank settlers and their supporters in the Amona outpost.
Lawmaker Ayman Odeh, who heads the Arab Joint List coalition, spoke to the demonstrators.
“Thousands of people have come here today, Arabs and Jews, from all over the country, to cry out against the government attack on the Arab population and to call for equality, recognition of the unrecognized villages, and in a demand to establish an official state commission of inquiry to examine all the events surrounding the brutal evacuation of Umm al-Hiran,” he said.