Netanyahu Compares Tel Aviv Protestors Settlers who Rampaged in Huwara
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drew a parallel between protests that happened in Tel Aviv against his government’s judicial overhaul plans and a rampaging settler riot that occurred in Huwara.
He called on the people to put a stop to the violence and to cool down the tensions. However, his call for calm was overshadowed by the comparison he made, as it only left his opponents more outraged.
A live statement was made by the Prime Minister from his office, a day after protests were held throughout the country against the judicial overhaul and hit new heights of hostility.
The protests carried out all across Israel resulted in 11 people getting injured and 50 people were arrested in clashes with the police.
Demonstrators in Tel Aviv attempted to block the Ayalon Highway and the police dealt with them aggressively, including the use of stun grenades and water cannons.
This is the first time that the cops used such measures for dealing with the demonstrations that have been taking routinely against the ongoing legislation.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian town of Huwara had seen settler riots on Sunday in revenge for a terror attack earlier in the day that resulted in the death of two Israelis.
The radical settlers set fire to stores, homes and cars and also assaulted the Palestinians, which resulted in injuries and death of a Palestinian man.
Netanyahu said that they would not accept violence, whether in Huwara or in Tel Aviv. He said that in both situations, the protestors had crossed lines, which he deemed as anarchy and violence.
The statement did not include a call for talks or compromise, which had been expected. Instead, he only accused the demonstrators of anarchy.
He said that freedom to protest does not give people the license to drive the nation into anarchy. He compared the events of the week to the Gaza Disengagement in 2005.
That was when the government, led by the Likud party, had withdrawn from four communities in northern Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
The protests had been contentious and tense and had resulted in conflicts between security forces and evacuees.
Speaking of the anti-disengagement activists, Netanyahu said that they had also gone out to protest, but they had not crossed any lines.
However, this assertion from Netanyahu about the demonstrations not including violence were false, as there had been a great deal of unrest, both before and during the evacuation.
There had been violent clashes involving security forces and roads had also been blocked. Deadly terror attacks had also been carried out, which had resulted in the death of eight people.
Netanyahu had initially favored Disengagement and had later claimed that it was under political duress. He also did not mention the arrest of Bezalel Smotrich in 2005 by Shin Bet.
The current finance minister had been held on suspicion of planning an arson attack on a busy highway of Tel Aviv. He had been released eventually without any charges.