Police: Petach Tikvah Protestors Violated Court Orders

Israelis hold up signs and shout slogans as they take part in a protest against political corruption, on Motzoei Shabbos, outside the home of Attorney General Avichai Mandelbit. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Police faced off against demonstrators who protested outside the home of Attorney General Avichai Mandelbit Motzoei Shabbos, attempting to control a crowd that exceeded the limits of how large the High Court said could be present. Some 1,500 people showed up for the protest, with police attempting to keep most of them away from the area of Mandelblit’s house by forcefully pushing the crowd back.

Police sources noted that organizers of the protest had violated numerous rules set down by the High Court for allowing the demonstration to take place. Besides exceeding the number of people allowed by the court, organizers of the protest used several megaphones and began the protest at 7 p.m., even though the court mandated that the protest could not begin before 8 p.m. Police sources said they tried to contact the protest organizers, but they refused to answer their phones.

Mandelblit’s home has for months been the focus of protests by groups demanding that he act more aggressively in corruption investigations against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Residents of the neighborhood have complained that the protests interfere with their peace of mind and normal activities, and police proposed to shut down the protests altogether. In a decision last Thursday, the High Court said that the right of protesters to express themselves outweighs the right to peace and quiet. With that, the court laid down some limitations to the protests, including capping the number who could gather opposite Mandelblit’s house to 500. Police said that the protesters violated that restriction, as well as others.

Likud MK David Bitan slammed the protesters, saying that “they have once again violated the word of the High Court. The leftist tyrants praise the ‘rule of law’ when it serves their interests, but it appears that in the interests of causing a coup to change the government without elections, it is permissible to break the law. I expect the police to act with a strong hand and enforce the orders of the court against this minority of anarchists.”

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