Hundreds of people clashed with police in Israel overnight, demonstrating against the arrest of a protest leader who said she was injured while being taken into custody, following a demonstration on Friday.
The protesters blocked roads and smashed bank windows in Tel Aviv, the country’s financial capital, until the early hours of Sunday morning. Over 80 arrests were reported.
“We are talking here about an illegal protest,” said Aharon Exol, Police Commander of Tel Aviv District. “We are talking about people who are systematically aiming to confront the security forces. It started yesterday with illegal protests and continued today with illegal protests with the intention of confronting policemen. We will not allow this, every possible red line was crossed here, we will not allow this protest to become violent.”
Friday’s protest followed from last summer when thousands of people took to the streets in an unprecedented campaign for economic and social reform that caught the government off guard.
As a result it was promised that spending on welfare would be raised and the defence budget cut, but activists say the reforms have not gone far enough.