update deskIsrael at War

Israel Police chief threatens to bus pro-Hamas protesters to Gaza

"Anyone who wants to identify with Gaza is welcome—I’ll put them on buses that will send them there, I’ll help them get there," said Yaakov Shabtai.

Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai speaks during a State Control Committee meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 6, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai speaks during a State Control Committee meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 6, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Israel Police chief Yaakov Shabtai threatened on Wednesday to deport Arab Israelis to the Gaza Strip if they show support for Palestinians there.

His comments were posted to the police force’s Arabic TikTok and X channels on Tuesday and were reported by Israeli media after an unauthorized rally in Haifa on Wednesday night in support of Gaza was broken up by law enforcement.

According to Israeli media reports, six protesters were arrested and one person was wounded during the rally. Another pro-Gaza protest in the Arab Muslim town of Tayibe in central Israel was reportedly broken up by police.

Shabtai said that there would be “zero tolerance” for pro-Gaza demonstrations in Israel while the country is in a state of war.

“Whoever wants to be a citizen of Israel, ahlan wa sahlan [welcome in Arabic]. Anyone who wants to identify with Gaza is welcome—I’ll put them on buses that will send them there, I’ll help them get there,” said Shabtai.

The Israel Police said on Thursday morning that 92 investigations have been opened into social media incitement since Oct. 7, the date of Hamas’s assault on communities near the Gaza border.

Most recent was the arrest on Thursday morning of a resident of the northern town of Nof HaGalil for supporting and inciting terrorism on social media.

The suspect, identified as a woman in her 20s, posted videos inciting terrorism and violence and expressing sympathy for the Hamas terror organization.

Investigators found on her phone other inciting videos, including several in which she is holding a gun. In another, she slashes an Israeli flag with a knife.

On Tuesday, police arrested Dr. Dalal Abu Amneh, an Arab-Israeli singer, social media personality and researcher at the Technion Institute.

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