Firebomb Thrown at Municipality Building as Jaffa Protests Over Demolition of Muslim Cemetery Intensify

A firebomb was hurled overnight Friday at a Jaffa building that belongs to the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality, as protests against the municipality's decision to demolish an 18th century Muslim burial ground intensify.

The burial ground was discovered after plans had been made to build a new homeless shelter and commercial space on the site. Earlier this week, the municipality began operating at the site after the Tel Aviv District Court approved the move. 

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On Friday afternoon, hundreds of Jaffa's Arab citizens protested across the city. They stepped up the protests throughput the night, torching some 10 garbage bins, several trees in two parks, two cars and a truck. One of the demonstrators threw an improvised firebomb at a building that belongs to the municipality, causing mild damage to the building, according to the municipality, which sees such acts as rioting.

A Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality building at which a firebomb was thrown overnight Friday amid protests over demolition of Muslim cemetery, June 13, 2020.

The protest have been taking place for the past five days, and during the last three days, violent incidents against the municipality and police began.

The Chairman of the Muslim Council in Jaffa Tarek Ashkar said in response to Haaretz: "We are against property damage and certainly against human injury, God forbid. We are the victims of civilian casualties in this case, and instead of the police protecting us or at least allowing us to protest by law, it decides to use excessive force against us. Everyone saw how armed forces from head to toe in guns and weapons – tools that are fit for war – faced off against ordinary civilians, all of whom just wanted to take part in a legitimate protest."

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