RAMALLAH, November 7 (JMCC) - Israeli police and residents clashed as a massive police presence moved into the Negev town of Rahat late Saturday to demolish a mosque, Haaretz reports.
Police sources said the mosque had been marked for demolition months ago as a result of it being illegally constructed, adding that the structure's construction was funded by the Islamic Movement's Northern Branch during the Gaza war, in late 2008 and early 2009.
A massive evacuation force, comprising over 5,000 policemen, tractors, and ambulances, descended on the town late Saturday, with initial reports claiming riots broke out between police and thousands of locals.
Thousands of the city's residents reportedly hurled stones at the police officers securing the demolition, with police returning tear gas fire. A few protestors were arrested.
Residents vowed to rebuild the mosque in the Negev's only Bedouin city, numbering more than 50,000 people. Read
the story at Haaretz...