France24: Israel-Hamas conflict

Israeli Jews and Arabs in joint peace demonstrations

The eruption of violence in Gaza prompted demonstrations around the world last weekend. Across Israel, Jewish and Arab citizens have also been taking to the streets to call for an end to the inter-communal clashes that have erupted within the country's borders. By Tamar Shiloh Vidon

“Arabs and Jewish citizens of Israel, let’s live together,” read the headline of a Haaretz editorial on Tuesday. On Facebook, temporary profile frames used by Jews, Palestinians and others proclaimed, “Stop the war” or declared that “Arabs and Jews choose life” and “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies”.       

After Hamas and Israel began trading rocket fire and air strikes in Gaza on 10 May, riots broke out inside Israel, mainly in cities with a mixed Jewish and Arab population, such as Jaffa, Lod, Acre, Nazareth, Bat Yam – and, of course, Jerusalem – resulting in serious injuries and deaths, as well as widespread destruction of property and much tension and fear.  

The Israeli government last week declared a state of emergency in several of these cities, calling up 1,000 border police in a “massive reinforcement” to help contain the unrest.

But Jewish and Arab citizens have also taken to the streets in rallies intended to strengthen the fragile fabric of intercommunal coexistence that has been holding together peacefully, if tentatively, for decades.

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