04/24/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Arab-Israeli Town Erupts After Hardliners March (VIDEO)

Riots erupted between border police and Israeli-Arab residents Tuesday in the northern Israeli town of Umm el-Fahm following a demonstration by Jewish hardliners, Al Jazeera English reports. Police are reported to have used tear gas to quell rioters throwing rocks. From Al Jazeera:

The protest in Umm el-Fahm, one of Israel's largest Arab towns, erupted on Tuesday after Jewish hardliners tried to march through the town.

Mickey Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, said police swung into action after protesters hurled stones at security men.


Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin, reporting from Umm el-Fahm, said a group of about 100 Israeli right-wingers wanted to march in the town, home to about 15,000 Palestinians.

He said the group's march followed a supreme court decision that allowed them to "excerise their sovereignty over the city".

According to Haaretz, the strife began when Umm el-Fahm's Arab residents gathered to protest the right-wing march; however Israeli police declared this gathering illegal following outbursts:

The clash erupted after police arrested three Israeli Arabs who had scuffled with officers. The detainees had gathered for a counter-demonstration held by Umm al-Fahm residents.

Police declared the rally to be illegal and ordered the Israeli Arab protestors, some of whom were waving Palestinian flags, to leave.

After the counter-demonstration, Ghilon told Israel Radio: "We arrived in order to restrain. I feel okay, but there were a number of applications of gas that were perhaps unnecessary, on the roads as well as in the clash."

Reports on the number of people injured in the conflict range from 15 to 28, and according to Jerusalem Post, 12 were arrested.