Activists say Israeli police have brutally beaten an Arab-Israeli NGO worker after arresting him at a Haifa demonstration, which landed him in hospital with a broken leg.
Jafar Farah, the CEO of the Mossawa Center, was one of the 21 people arrested on Friday during a demonstration against the May 14 Israeli carnage in the Gaza Strip.
Footage of Farah's arrest shows him being escorted away from the protest on his own feet and in handcuffs.
However, the police said the activist is now hospitalized, without providing further details on his condition.
Farah's relatives and Adalah, an organization dedicated to Palestinian legal rights in Israel, accused the police of breaking the campaigner's leg while in custody.
Adalah said in a statement that the Israeli police had dealt with the Haifa demonstration “like a war," beaten those who attempted to escape and denied the detainees access to lawyers for over an hour after their arrest.
“All the detainees were handcuffed for the entire night and kept sitting on the police station floor. Many of them experienced serious bruising to their wrists. Adalah considers these arrests to be illegal, as the police violence in Haifa was unprecedented and unprovoked,” the statement read.
Additionally, the Mossawa Center said on Facebook that Farah had been assaulted while in police custody and is now in Bnai Tzion Hospital with a broken leg.
Israeli lawmaker Ilan Gilon said he had passed an urgent question to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan regarding Farah's arrest.
"I demand to know if police brutality led to the broken leg by Jafar Farah," he said on Facebook. "The idea that a protester leaves his home to use his democratic right and is taken to an interrogation because of that, and as it ends it turns out his limbs are broken, is a thought that makes my blood run cold."
In a Twitter post, Merav Michaeli, another Israeli lawmaker, called Farah “a partner in the struggle for equality and peace," condemning his “frightening" treatment at the hands of policemen.
Member of the Knesset (MK) Ayman Odeh, who met the Haifa detainees, said police forces brutally oppressed the protest without any explanation.
He said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's regime "wants to silence any voice of resistance and dissent coming from here, to silence any voice that embarrasses it and its actions."
MK Aida Touma-Suleiman also spoke against the Israeli police clampdown on Haifa demonstrators, saying, "the attempts to scare and silence people will fail again!"
"The violence exerted on protesters was unchecked. Interrogators continued to beat up the detainees after they were arrested without any explanation or justification. As a result, some of them were injured. Jafar Farah's leg was broken," she added.
Israeli forces killed at least 65 Palestinians during protests near the Gaza fence on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
More than 2,700 Palestinians were also wounded as the Israeli forces used snipers, airstrikes, tank fire and tear gas to target the demonstrators.
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) convened on Friday, demanding an “independent, international commission of inquiry” into the Gaza killings and denouncing “the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force" by Israeli forces against Palestinians.
Israeli officials angry with UN rights council
The move infuriated Israeli officials, with the minister of military affairs claiming that the council had become a “cheerleader for terrorists."
In a post on his Twitter account on Saturday, Avigdor Lieberman rejected the probe into the Gaza killings. He had earlier urged Tel Aviv and the US to immediately withdraw from the UNHRC.
Netanyahu also railed against the UNHRC, saying the Geneva-based body had backed terrorism by launching the Gaza investigation.
“There is nothing new under the sun. An organization that calls itself a council for human rights has once again proven that it is hypocritical and biased” and that its “purpose is to harm Israel and support terror,” the Israeli premier said.
Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses: