German court upholds ban on pro-Palestine protest in Berlin
Police barred rally over fears of repeat of alleged anti-Semitic incidents at demonstrations held last week
A Berlin court has upheld a ban on a planned pro-Palestine demonstration in the German capital.
Due to alleged anti-Semitic incidents on the sidelines of an anti-Israel protest last week, the Berlin administrative court endorsed the ban imposed by police earlier this week, a court official told the German Press Agency (dpa) on Saturday.
It was unclear whether the organizers will challenge the decision in a higher court.
Palestinian groups planned to hold a protest in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district against recent Israeli aggression in the occupied West Bank and the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in East Jerusalem.
Police barred the protest in an announcement on Thursday, saying there could be a repeat of what they alleged were anti-Semitic incidents at similar demonstrations held last Friday and Saturday.
“Based on experiences from the recent past” there is “the immediate danger” of anti-Semitic slogans, glorification of violence and acts of violence, police officials were quoted as saying.
Several people were arrested after last week’s protests as officials accused participants of throwing stones and firecrackers at police officers.
The police also alleged that there were anti-Semitic and inflammatory slogans at the rallies.
“We saw crimes, anti-Semitic exclamations and slogans of the worst kind during the demonstrations last weekend. That is completely unacceptable,” Berlin’s Interior Senator Iris Spranger said earlier this week.
Palestinian civic leaders in Berlin have repeatedly made clear they do not condone anti-Semitic slurs at demonstrations, saying their only objective is to highlight the ongoing repression by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Germany is a staunch ally of Israel and has largely remained silent over the oppression and discrimination Palestinians face from Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.