A march of right-wing Jewish extremists in a northern Israeli town on Tuesday sparked a protest by Arabs that left 16 people injured, police said.
Police Spokesman Mickey Rosenthal confirmed clashes in Umm al-Fahm, a predominantly Arab Muslim town, after the 45-minute march, where the Jewish demonstrators carried Israeli flags. Arab protesters threw stones at the marchers and at the police forces, while police used tear gas and stun grenades in a bid to disperse the protests. Three police officers, including deputy police chief, Inspector General Shahar Ayalon, were reported wounded. There were at least 13 injured people, and six were taken to hospital. They included Arab demonstrators and Israeli leftist lawmaker Ilan Ghilon, a member of the Meretz Party who was lightly injured by a tear gas grenade. Ten arrests were made. The right-wing activists carried the Israeli flag through the streets of the city, in a march approved by the Israeli Supreme Court, as thousands of police were mobilized to secure the event. Umm al-Fahm was the scene of violent and fatal clashes with police in the past. The Jewish marchers wanted to do what Arabs and Muslims have been allowed to do in Tel Aviv — stage marches.