The Berlin police are on duty with up to 1,100 officers on Saturday to enforce the ban on Palestinian demonstrations and to accompany other planned gatherings. This was announced by the police on Twitter in the morning. During the night, the Higher Administrative Court had confirmed the ban on several demonstrations on the Nakba expulsion memorial day.
Every year on May 15, Palestinians commemorate the flight and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the first Middle East War in 1948. On May 14, 1948, part of the British Mandate of Palestine became Israel. The Arab neighbors attacked the new state. Around 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled in the course of the fighting.
The police had banned the five Palestine demonstrations on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Mitte. She justified this by saying that there could be inflammatory, anti-Semitic calls, glorification of violence and acts of violence.
The administrative court and the higher administrative court shared this risk forecast with a view to previous similar events. The particularly high degree of mobilization to be expected on the so-called Nakba Day also has an additional impact on the prognosis. The “highly anti-Israel atmosphere and bordering on anti-Semitism” noted for earlier gatherings is also suitable for conveying a readiness to use violence. The Higher Administrative Court also rejected an appeal against this decision. “The decision is final,” it said.
During similar demonstrations by Palestinians against Israel last year and in April this year, anti-Semitic shouts and bottles and firecrackers were thrown at police officers. After that, another demonstration was banned by the police at the end of April. This ban was also confirmed by the administrative court.
A police spokeswoman said on Saturday that emergency services were at the originally planned rally locations in Kreuzberg and Neukölln to point out the ban to potential participants. In addition, there is a lot going on in the city. Officials are also scheduled to accompany other events, including a demonstration by Kurds and a children’s bicycle demonstration.
The group “Palestine Speaks” had criticized the ban on their demonstrations as “an attack on our fundamental rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression”. It is an “alarming door opener for unlimited state repression against any opposition in Germany, be it for Palestinian human rights, anti-racism or refugee rights”.