Anti-Israel Protests Spur Arrests in Austin, London, Tel Aviv

State Troopers in Austin during an anti-Israel event | Image by KXAN
State Troopers in Austin during an anti-Israel event | Image by KXAN

Two anti-Israel agitators faced arrest during a protest outside of the Texas Capitol on Sunday as protests targeting the Jewish state gain momentum across the world.

The protest in Austin began outside the Capitol building and turned into a march through downtown. The Austin Police Department (APD) said the protest was “largely peaceful,” according to WFAA.

It was not until the march made its way back to the Capitol that suspects were taken into custody.

The protesters allegedly failed to obtain a permit for the rally. APD ordered the mob of protesters outside the Capitol to leave. When protesters refused, arrests were made.

Attorney George Lobb confirmed to KVUE that one protester was arrested for reportedly operating a done over the Capitol, and another was arrested for failure to obey a lawful order and resisting arrest.

Following the arrests, the anti-Israel protesters congregated outside of the Travis County jail in solidarity with those who had been taken into custody.

Throughout the protest, state troopers in riot gear surrounded Gov. Greg Abbott’s mansion in Austin’s city center.

The protest, in part, was meant to raise awareness of the 76th anniversary of the Nakba. The Nakba symbolizes the “mass displacement” of Palestinians during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, according to the UN.

Austin’s Sunday protest followed weeks of anti-Israel demonstrations that have engulfed college campuses nationwide, resulting in more than 1,000 arrests of students.

With the school year closing out, protesters have taken to their universities’ commencement ceremonies to express their demands for institutions across the country to financially and academically divest from Israel.

On Sunday, students from the Arab studies program at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, held signs that said “divest from genocide” and “free Palestine” while on stage before walking out of the graduation ceremony.

Dozens of students at Yale stormed out of their graduation with flags, drums, and megaphones Monday morning, chanting, “Disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest.”

Anti-Israel protests have taken off worldwide. Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Brussels on Sunday to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Thousands more also congregated in London on Sunday.

Seven arrests were made at the event in London, comprising both anti-Israel protesters and counter-protesters. Offenses such as “suspicion of assaulting an officer,” “suspicion of a provocation of violence,” and “carrying a coffin with offensive language on it” spurred the arrests.

Protests even erupted in Israel over the weekend. Demonstrators gathered in Tel Aviv on Sunday to call for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign. Israeli authorities used a water cannon to disperse the mob. Arrests were made as agitators clashed with police, according to The Times of Israel.

On Monday morning, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it was seeking an arrest warrant for Netanyahu and Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defense minister, for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Gaza.

The ICC also called for the arrest of the leaders of the terrorist organization Hamas.

“Now, more than ever, we must collectively demonstrate the international humanitarian law, the foundational baseline for human conduct during conflict, applies to all individuals and applies equally across the situations addressed by my Office and the Court,” said ICC’s prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan in a statement. “This is how we will prove, tangibly, that the lives of all human beings have equal value.”

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