Right-wing Israelis held a march through Jaffa to protest against what they deemed, “the Islamic movement gaining control” over the city.The march was organised by Michael Ben-Ari, an MK (member of the Israeli parliament) in the National Union. 16 left-wingers who were protesting against the march were arrested.
The protestors chanted slogans saying, ‘Jaffa is Jewish and will remain Jewish’
The march, which was escorted by a heavy police presence, comes few days after the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality announced a plan to build affordable housing exclusively for Jaffa’s Arab residents.
Palestinian workers in the city staged a strike in protest whilst the march was taking place.
Tel Aviv councillor, Ahmed Mashrawi commented, “These people’s march reveals their true ugly face. As long as they don’t harm the routine of the residents, we won’t allow them the pleasure of receiving a headline on our account.’
Jaffa is one of several so-called ‘mixed cities’ in Israel, with a population of 29000 Jews and 17000 Palestinian-Arabs. Whilst in 1947 the city had 70,760 Palestinian residents, by 1950 this had dropped to a mere 4000, since most had been forced out of their homes in 1948 and became refugees inside the West Bank. Plans are presently afoot to build affordable housing for the city’s Palestinian residents – a proposal that has angered many on the right.