Security forces forcibly dispersed a protest by Ethiopian Israelis in Jerusalem on Monday, July 15. Protesters have gathered outside the Knesset to denounce the release of a police officer accused of killing a teenager of Ethiopian descent. They reportedly blocked a nearby road before being cleared by the police, who arrested several people. Some of the protesters later rallied on Jaffa street, blocking the rail tracks before being again dispersed by the police. A total of 13 demonstrators were arrested throughout the day.
Further such protests and associated traffic disruptions are possible in Jerusalem over the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence is to be anticipated around all protests. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.
Tensions have been high in the country since an off-duty police officer allegedly shot an unarmed man of Ethiopian descent in the Kiryat Haim area of Haifa on June 30. On July 1, protesters burned tires and erected barricades in Haifa. Large crowds reportedly gathered in Kiryat Haim and Kiryat Ata after the accused officer was put under house arrest. Associated rallies were reported in Kiryat Ono, Be'er Sheva, Ashkelon, Rehovot, and other cities across Israel throughout the evening (local time) on July 1. At least five protesters were arrested in Tel Aviv on July 10 after blocking the Azrieli intersection, along with several other arrests in Yavne and Rishon Lezion after protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails at police officers.
Individuals in Israel are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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