Saturday, March 6
Some 300 people, both Palestinian and Jews, marched from the Clock Tower square in Jaffa to the Yiftah police office on Salameh Street, protesting against thelatest wave of police violence.
Among the speakers were Jerrias Kobti, who was violently arrested by the police some three weeks ago, Gabi ElAbed of the AlRabita (the Association of the Arabs of Jaffa), Omar Siksik, municipal council member of the Jaffa List, Yoav Goldring, municipal council member for "A City for All" (Ir lekulanu), MK Dov Khenin and Sheikh Ahmad Abu Agua of the northern Islamic movement, who spoke in Arabic and in Hebrew against police violence as we have been experiencing over the last several weeks.
The demonstration was peaceful , people marching together, shouting slogans in Arabic and Hebrew demanding an investigation. a change of policy and a respect for democracy.
Severa l policemen, among them Ohion, the Yiftach commander, were laughing. One wonders why. The recent reports of serious violence towards citizens should worry him deeply.
Jerrias Kobti gave a short report of what had happened to him in the police station after he had been arrested and handcuffed. His testimony is terrifying. The violence he went through could happen to any of us. And that should worry us all. And it should worry Ohion as well. A police corps that resorts to violence as a regular method, is in deep trouble.
There is little belief in "Mahash" (המחלקה לחיקרת שוטרים the unit that is supposed to investigate crimes committed by policemen) and distinct feelings of anger and despair were expressed by some of the speakers and many in the audience.
Few of us here have never witnessed or experienced incidents with the police. Many of us feel helpless face a face police violence. Some are so scared of revenge, they will not complain nor testify against abusive police officers.
One wonder why Ohion was laughing so much.
Yes, there is violent crime in Jaffa. Last evening a man in his thirties was shot and badly wounded in Yefet Street. The night before there was another shooting incident in Maor Enayim Street.
And IF the police were doing their job, perhaps these incidents would not be happening, or would be rare.
But these crimes do happen and the police is doing something else. Perhaps that "something else" is what they think is their job: being part of a repressive machine. Serving not the public at large and the public interest, but rather the interest of a limited by powerful force in this country.
Police violence in Jaffa has become so common we hear new stories every day. Often involving people who have no criminal record and are law abiding citizens (but quite obviously the human rights of criminals should be respected as well.). Enough has been written on this blog about various events in which innocent bystanders found themselves handcuffed, arrested and beaten up by the police.
Complaints at "Mahash" are rarely taken to court and it appears the system investigating itself is not doing an outstanding job.
Enough, we truly have had enough of it.
Today at 13.00 we will march from Clocktower square in Jaffa to the Salame police station to have our voice heard.
Posted by yudit at 11:06 a.m.