Arbitrary arrests and clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops erupted on the internationally-planned day of protest against the Israeli government's plan to evict some 40,000 Palestinian Bedouins from their homes in the Negev-Naqab desert.
The protesters had gathered under the banner of “Prawer Won’t Pass” to demonstrate against a Knesset-debated plan to push Bedouins from ‘unrecognised villages’ into government-planned townships. The plan entails the expulsion of thousands of Bedouins and the demolition of up to 35 villages.
According to the Palestinian Ma’an News agency, Israeli troops wielded batons and shields and used water canons to disperse protesters on what activists have marked as a 'Day of Rage' against the plan.
The main flashpoint for Saturday’s protests was the Bedouin township of Hura, which Arab members of the Knesset attended.
Other demonstrations were organised in the occupied West Bank, including Ramallah, the Gaza Strip, Haifa and Jerusalem. Several cities across Europe, North America and the Middle East also held protests in solidarity.
According to the anti-Prawer Plan campaign’s international page on Facebook, arrests were made in Ramallah, Naqab, and Beir El, where protestors were tear-gassed. Pictures show Israeli troops standing on the offensive, ready to snuff out the Haifa-held protest.