BERLIN (JTA) — Police in Berlin say about 1,000 demonstrators, most of them Palestinian, held an unregistered march protesting Israel’s actions in Gaza.
Up to ten demonstrators were arrested for breach of the peace and for trying to forcibly free others already arrested in Saturday’s melee, a police spokesperson said. Rocks were thrown during the disturbance and a police officer was struck but not injured.
Demonstrations in Berlin require a police permit.
The demonstrators initially tried unsuccessfully to enter the “Fan Mile,” where tens of thousands of soccer fans have been gathering to watch World Cup games on big screens over the past few weeks.
Pushed back by police, the demonstrators – who according to the spokesperson were aggressive and chanting – proceeded up one of Berlin’s main avenues near Potsdamer Platz. Facing a major police response, the demonstrators – at that point led by someone who tried to calm them, the spokesperson said – gradually broke up.
By some estimates, Berlin is home to 35,000 Arabs of Palestinian origin.
On Friday, several hundred pro-Israel demonstrators gathered at Wittenberg Platz in Berlin under the banner “Fight Terror, Support Israel,” organized by the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin, a non-denominational NGO.