On February 28, 2022, the police used sweeping and unjustified violence against hundreds of Palestinians who had gathered around Damascus Gate to celebrate the religious holiday “Israʾand Miʿraj.” The violence included unrestrained use of batons, mace, and physical violence that led to over 35 people being injured, including women, children, and a baby.
The Forum Against Police Brutality, which includes the Association of Ethiopian Jews, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, the Clinical Legal Education Center at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and ACRI, appealed to the Minister of Public Security and the Police Commissioner the next day. We demanded an urgent investigation into police conduct throughout these incidents and the manner in which decisions were made, so as to draw systemic conclusions on patterns in the use of means to disperse demonstrations. The appeal states that the severity of the incident requires reconsideration of how to contend with such gatherings, especially in light of the upcoming Ramadan holiday and lessons learned last year. The appeal further notes that, “contending with riots carried out by isolated individuals, in no case justifies the sweeping violation of an entire population’s right to integrity or collective punishment.”