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Druze engage in mass rally in Tel Aviv against 'Jewish state law'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Members of the Israeli Druze community and their supporters wave their flags as they demonstrate during a rally to protest against the 'Jewish State Law' in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on August 4, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

Tens of thousands of Israeli Druze have gathered in central Tel Aviv to protest Israel's controversial “Jewish state” law.

During the Saturday demonstration, protesters chanted "equality" while waving colorful Druze flags.

While addressing the protesters, Israeli Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Muafak Tarif said that the argued that the new legislation makes them second-class citizens.

 The protesters accuse the Tel Aviv regime of racism and discrimination against other ethnicities.

A former Israeli Druze officer (R) holds a banner that reads in Hebrew "Bibi looks at the absurdity that you have created with your law" as members of the Israeli Druze community and their supporters demonstrate to protest against the 'Jewish State Law' in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv on August 4, 2018.

Last week, Two Druze Israeli officers resigned from the military in protest against the controversial bill.

Earlier in July, Israel’s parliament (Knesset) adopted a controversial bill that declares the occupying entity “the nation-state of the Jewish people,” in what is widely criticized as an apartheid measure that could lead to discrimination against its own Arab population.

Besides officially designating Israel as a “state” exclusively for the Jews, the law defines occupied Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel, downgrades the status of the Arabic language and encourages the promotion of the regime’s settlements — which have been built on occupied land and thus viewed as unlawful by the world community.

A senior Iranian diplomat says Israel’s adoption of the law that is further proof of the regime’s apartheid nature, urging international pressure on Tel Aviv to cancel the law.

The law had drawn criticism by a wide range of NGOs and rights groups as a racist bill that would divide the society. Arabs in the occupied territories form about 20 percent of the population.

Tensions have been running high along the fence separating Gaza from the Israeli-occupied territories since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.

The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, 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.

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Israeli fire has taken the lives of more than 150 Palestinians since March 30.

Nearly 15,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries, of whom at least 360 are reportedly in critical condition.


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