Israel’s police chief, Kobi Shabtai, has stated that there will be a “zero tolerance” policy for protests in support of Gaza within Israel. He even threatened to send anti-war demonstrators to Gaza, the Palestinian enclave under bombardment by Israel for almost two weeks. Shabtai’s comments were made in a video posted on the TikTok channel of the Israeli police. They gained attention in Israeli media after the police disbanded a rally in Haifa supporting Gaza and arrested six individuals.
In the video, Shabtai mentioned, “Whoever wants to become an Israeli citizen, welcome. Anyone who wants to identify with Gaza is welcome. I will put him on the buses heading there now.” He also emphasized that there would be “zero tolerance for any instance of incitement,” and that “there will be no authorization for protests.”
Read more:Pakistani cricketers pray for Palestine
He framed the situation as a state of war and stated that they wouldn’t allow various individuals to come and test them. Israeli police have been monitoring social media to find Palestinians in Israel expressing support for Hamas, the governing group in Gaza.
This comes amidst Israel’s ongoing military actions in Gaza, resulting in extensive destruction and casualties. The conflict started after Gaza-based Hamas fighters launched an attack into southern Israel, prompting Israel to impose a “complete siege” on Gaza, affecting its residents’ access to essential resources.
In a separate development, the ethics panel of the Israeli parliament suspended a left-wing parliament member, Ofer Cassif, for making statements that were considered anti-Israel after the war broke out. Cassif had accused the government of enacting a plan in Gaza that he compared to the Nazis’ “Final Solution” and suggested that “Israel wanted this violence” in relation to the Hamas attack. He was suspended for 45 days.