Sheikh Jarrah protests: Israeli extremists chant 'We want Nakba now'

Sheikh Jarrah protests: Israeli extremists chant 'We want Nakba now'
Palestinian protesters were attacked by police while far-right Israelis chanted "the Temple Mount is in our hands" and called for a repeat of the Nakba.
2 min read
14 January, 2023
Israeli police were seen assaulting Palestinian protesters and activists [Getty images]

Israeli police assaulted Palestinians in Jerusalem during a solidarity demonstration late on Friday, while standing by as groups of extremist Israelis chanted “We Want Nakba now” led by a city councilman. 

Scores of Sheikh Jarrah residents and activists took part in a protest against the new Israeli far-right government's policies, waving Palestinian flags and calling for an end to Israeli apartheid.

In recent days, Israeli authorities have ordered the demolition of several Palestinian houses across Jerusalem, while continued Israeli attacks in the occupied West Bank have claimed 12 Palestinian lives since the beginning of the year. 

Extremist settlers then amassed in a counter-protest, chanting racist slogans and calling for a repeat of the Nakba - the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their lands during the creation of Israel in 1948.

Israeli police were seen assaulting Palestinian protesters, including elderly veteran protester Nafissa Khweiss, who regularly takes part in sit-in protests at the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The Israelis calling for a repeat of the Nakba, however, were allowed to continue chanting. 

Chants calling for the expulsion of Palestinians have been given fresh oxygen in recent months by the rise of the extremist religious right in Israeli politics.  

“You’re here by mistake, it’s a mistake that Ben-Gurion didn’t finish the job and didn’t throw you out in 1948.” Bezalel Smotrich, who heads the Religious Zionism party and is currently Israeli finance minister, told Palestinian members of the Knesset in October 2021. 

National security minister Itamar Ben Gvir has been witnessed several times chanting “death to Arabs” on marches through Jerusalem - though in summer 2022 he claimed that “it has been years” since he has done so.