Hundreds of anti-Israel demonstrators clashed with police in the northern Italian city of Vicenza earlier this week during protests against the inclusion of an Israeli stand at the Vincenzaoro Jewelry Fair.
The incident, reported by The Jewish Chronicle on Tuesday, saw protesters attacking police officers, firing flares and throwing smoke bombs.
The city’s annual jewelry fair is a major trade event in the jewelry industry, and this year’s 70th-anniversary exhibition included over 1,300 exhibitors from more than 40 countries.
In defiance of police orders, protesters carried signs reading “Stop global war,” “Free Palestine” and “Block Israel,” according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica. The clashes resulted in 10 injured police officers.
Vicenza’s mayor, Giacomo Possamai, condemned the incident on social media, stating: “There is no justification for the guerrilla scenes we saw this morning in Vicenza.”
Referring to Italy’s history, Possamai emphasized the contradiction in using violence to support a cause, adding that such actions divert attention from the ongoing situation in Israel and Palestine. Meanwhile, an additional protest organized by the Palestinian community in the city later in the day concluded without major incident.
A spokesperson for the fair told the JC that the demonstration took place several kilometers away from the exhibition venue and failed to impact the event.