Thursday, October 19, 2023

So much for "peaceful" protests against Israeli actions in Gaza in Berlin

More than 60 Berlin police officers injured at pro-Palestinian protests

AFP - 
Published: 19 Oct, 2023 CET.Updated: Thu 19 Oct 2023 11:17 CET

Demonstrators near Berlin's Sonnenallee set off pyrotechnics on Wednesday evening. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Paul Zinken

Sixty-five police officers were injured at overnight protests in Berlin against Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip, authorities said Thursday, as demonstrators defied bans on such gatherings. 

Bild Daily said a call had gone out on Telegram calling on "men" to "turn Neukölln into Gaza. Burn everything". 

As police ordered protesters to disperse, "rubbish bins and obstacles were put on the streets" and "stones and pyrotechnics were thrown" at them, prompting police to respond by firing water-cannon, said authorities. 

Since Israel began its relentless bombing raids on Gaza in response to Hamas' deadly attack on October 7th, pro-Palestinian protests have erupted across major German cities despite widespread bans. 

The officers were "wounded by stones, flammable liquid and acts of resistance," Berlin police said on social media platform X, formerly Twitter. A police spokeswoman said 174 people were arrested, including 65 who will be facing investigations. 

The gathering had begun late Wednesday in Neukölln, a district with a large Arab community. 

The number of anti-Semitic incidents has also jumped, with a synagogue in Berlin hit by Molotov cocktails early Wednesday. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday urged authorities to prevent demonstrations that could degenerate into anti-Semitic incitement. Gatherings where "anti-Semitic slogans are shouted, where the deaths of other human beings are glorified" must be outlawed, said Scholz.

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