Clashes erupt in Jaffa during protests over assault on Yeshiva rabbi

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Clashes erupt in Jaffa during protests over assault on Yeshiva rabbi


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Three Arab Israeli men were arrested on Sunday evening, police said, as clashes erupted in Jaffa over rival protests over the violent assault on a yeshiva leader who lives in the adjacent mixed Judeo-Arab town in Tel Aviv.

Rabbi Eliyahu Mali was violently attacked Sunday morning in an apparent hate crime as he sought to buy an apartment to house his Shirat Moshe Hesder Yeshiva. Two suspects were subsequently arrested.

In response to the incident, a protest by predominantly religious Zionist Jews was held near the site of the attack on Sunday evening, denouncing violence against Jews in the city.

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At the same time, a counter-demonstration by local Israeli Arabs formed in front of the Jewish demonstration, chanting “Settlers, go home.

With police forming a human barrier between the two protests, they were attacked by stones and fireworks hurled in their direction, Israeli police said in a statement.

Clashes between Arab Israeli protesters and police in Jaffa, April 18, 2021 (Screen capture: Ynet)

Footage from the incident shows fireworks coming from the direction of the Arab Israeli protest.

Two policemen were slightly injured, police said.

In the incident on Sunday morning, Mali and her colleague were assaulted as they went to a building in Jaffa to view the property. The two were surrounded by Arab residents in the area, who started yelling at them and ordering them to leave. When they refused and started filming the incident, the suspects started beating Mali and his colleague.

Mali did not require hospitalization for its injuries.

Photos posted online showed the rabbi, in his 60s, being beaten to the ground.

Two Jaffa residents filmed beating Rabbi Eliyahu Mali on April 18, 2021 (Courtesy)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the “violent attack” and urged law enforcement to bring the assailants to justice quickly.

Right-wing lawmakers also strongly condemned the attack, calling it anti-Semitic.

“The State of Israel is not a shtetl where Jews can be hurt, ”tweeted party leader Yamina Naftali Bennett, referring to Jewish hamlets in Eastern Europe. “The serious and overt violence against Rabbi Eliyahu Mali, the leader of the hesder yeshiva in Jaffa, is a… national disgrace.

“We are witnessing a series of attacks by Arab assailants against Jewish Torah practitioners, which are deliberate and anti-Semitic,” he said.

Jerusalem Foreign Minister Rafi Peretz called the incident “icy” and urged police to bring the assailants to justice.

Jaffa, which has now been incorporated into Tel Aviv, was traditionally Arab, but in recent years many Jewish residents have moved in, attracted by new luxury housing developments. This gentrification has fueled tensions in the city.

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