Israel Police Struggle to Remove Tel Aviv Protestors from Ayalon Highway

On Thursday morning, roads across Israel had been closed because of the third ‘Day of Disruption’, as people all over the country were staging protests against the government’s judicial reforms.

The exit of the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv was blocked by protestors on Thursday morning during demonstrations. Reports indicated that the blockage was southbound.

The blockages

In the afternoon, a train was also blocked from leaving the station in Herzliya by people belonging to the protest group called ‘Brothers in arms’.

They said that they were stopping the train the same way that they would stop the legislation, which is dividing the country. They added that they would not let the country turn into a dictatorship.

Thursday morning also saw traffic closed at Tel Aviv’s Namir intersection, but it had started opening later on.

According to Israel Police, Tel Aviv’s Hasha’on Square had also been shut down. On Thursday morning, the Day of Disruption had begun earlier than expected.

A red line was painted on the road in Jerusalem that leads to the High Court of Justice by dozens of Israeli artists.

The protest organizers said that the demonstration represented the connection between freedom of expression and speech and an independent judiciary.

Israeli Police said that they had arrested five of the artists. According to the protestors, they had used paint specifically designed for the demonstration and could be painted over easily.

Tel Aviv University

On Thursday morning, students at the Tel Aviv University also placed barbed wire fences at the university’s entrance in protest.

The protest organizers told the media that they had done so for protecting freedom of the press as well as freedom of speech against the legislation that the government wants to implement for gaining power.

The Habima Square in Tel Aviv also saw parents and children gather to protest against the government’s judicial overhaul measures.

Ayalon Highway

The Ayalon Highway had been shut down for half an hour after protestors were able to get past the barricades.

The police had to clear the protestors twice on horseback, who were waving flags, dancing and singing while chanting ‘democracy’. The incidents in Tel Aviv saw at least 10 protestors detained by the police.

However, no injuries were reported in these incidents, as no stun grenades were used by the police, as opposed to the previous week.

Most of the protests were peaceful, but two people pepper-sprayed the demonstrators in Tel Aviv because they had blocked their vehicle. The two individuals were arrested by the police, as was one demonstrator.

One of the people who got hit said that they had blocked the roads like they had done previously, but one driver continued to accelerate, got out of the car and began using a pepper spray.

After the incident, Yair Lapid, the head of the opposition, talked about the escalating violence and put the blame on the government.

He said that the government was inciting violence against the protestors and it was responsible for their safety.

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