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Israel: Protest organizers call on police to halt use of water cannons

The “New Contract” organization, one of the six main organizers of the protests across from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence, called on the Police to refrain from using water cannons to disperse demonstrations, which are planned for Saturday night.

Using water cannons is “use of disproportionate and unjustified force against demonstrators, which actually endangers them,” according to a letter addressed to the police in the name of the protesters, sent through Attorney Gonen Ben Itzhak, a prominent activist and protester.

The request comes after, the previous evening, police fired water cannons at protesters and injured one of them by hitting him in the face, forcing his head to fly back.

The letter states that if the police does not explicitly clarify that they do not intend to use water cannons at the protests, the organization will appeal to court and request an order prohibiting the cannon’s use.

The protests come amid political instability during the coronavirus pandemic, as demonstrators call on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do more or resign.

Demonstration by demonstration, the intensity of the Jerusalem protests is growing.

A video clip in which one protester’s head is snapped back by the force of the high-pressure water cannon fire this week is just one illustration of the potential for clashes and confrontation to turn, in the blink of an eye, into something far more devastating.

Israel’s elected leaders, its law enforcement authorities, and the organizers of the protests have a shared, urgent responsibility to pull back from the brink.

Source: Tamar Beri – JPost