Israel hatred in Neukölln after Friday prayers

By Sara Orlos Fernandes, Axel Lier, Matthias Lukaschewitsch and Danilo Gladow

Friday prayers in Berlin mosques ended peacefully. But just an hour later, hatred of Israel flares up again on Berlin’s streets! In Neukölln’s Reuterkiez, around 100 people chanted “Free Palestine” (German: “Liberated Palestine”) and “Allauh akbar” (German: “Allah is great”)!

Palestine supporters gathered at the intersection of Reuterstraße and Sonnenallee at 3 p.m. and shouted the inflammatory slogans for minutes. But the police were quickly on site and sealed off the intersection with tape. Occasionally attempts were made to display a Palestine flag. But the police – a total of 400 were gathered in the Hermannplatz and Sonnenallee area – intervened immediately. The situation was tense and some protesters were arrested by the police in order to establish their identities.

A demonstrator is brought to the ground and restrained Photo: Olaf Wagner

The participants in the spontaneous demonstration all stood on the sidewalks and did not block any streets. The police filmed the unregistered meeting to preserve evidence. A few participants resisted their arrest. But the police took consistent action against it. One demonstrator had to be brought to the ground by the police and restrained there.

Sonnenallee in Neukölln – first arrests at pro-Palestine demonstration Photo: Olaf Wagner

When asked, a police spokesman said: “The gathering came about because a person was standing on an electricity box and shouting ‘Free Palestine’.” According to BZ information, the man was holding scissors in his hand and was wearing a Palestinian scarf.

The spokesman: “The man was arrested, he was apparently in an exceptional psychological situation and was taken to hospital.”

The police have great difficulty getting a pro-Palestinian demonstrator under control

The police have great difficulty getting a pro-Palestinian demonstrator under control Photo: REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

As a result of this measure, there were expressions of sympathy from passers-by and onlookers. According to the police, the situation became “threatening”. But the police took tough action and expelled several participants in the spontaneous protest from the square. How many advertisements were written was not yet known. “These measures are currently ongoing,” said the police spokesman.