Hassan Jabareen, the general director of Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, declared that a massive arrest operation of Palestinian citizens of Israel for their participation in support of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the besieged Gaza is a “militarised war against Palestinian citizens of Israel.”
Israeli police announced they will penalise those who have taken part in demonstrations against settler violence, the Israeli forces’ crackdown on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, and the IDF's bombing of Gaza.
Israeli police said some 1,550 people have already been arrested since May 9 and the campaign is a “continuation” that aims to “prosecute” demonstrators who have over the past two weeks taken to the streets in towns and cities across Israel.
Now, thousands of security forces from “all units” will be deployed to carry out raids, it said, in towns and cities predominantly inhabited by Palestinian citizens of Israel. Police, border guards and reserve brigades will search homes and conduct “investigations.”
Janan Abdu, a Haifa-based lawyer with the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, pointed out that, “These are not just police forces but also include special units – border police, secret services and undercover forces.” She continued, “They treat their citizens as an enemy. There has always been two systems: one for Arabs and one for the Jews.”
The purpose of the arrests is to “intimidate and to exact revenge on Palestinian citizens of Israel – ‘to settle the score’ with Palestinians, in the Israeli police’s own words – for their political positions and activities”, Hassan Jabareen said.
Rallies were held in cities including Haifa, Yafa, Lydd and Nazareth in solidarity with Palestinian families facing forced expulsion from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and following Jewish-Israeli attack on worshippers in Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Palestinian citizens of Israel have long been discriminated against.
Majd Kayyal, a Haifa-based activist, said, “We need to start a new chapter as Palestinians inside Israel. We need to rip apart and dismantle Israel’s fragmentation policy.” he said. “Our fight as Palestinian citizens of Israel is a part of the collective fight of the Palestinian people against Israel’s settler-colonial project.”