The anti-Israel demonstration has been going on for a quarter of an hour, when you feel that it will come to blows. The anger of the about 500 demonstrates getting clearer with the shouted slogans. "Israel murder!" Members of the riot police take out shields and helmets from the cars.
This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog - islamineurope.blogspot.com
The Buitenhof, the square in the Hague in which the Israeli embassy is located, has been closed for some time by the police. Cafe owners move their tables and chairs back to the safety behind the police line. Tram line 17 still goes up and down the square.
"While demonstrators elsewhere in the world stand before the gates of the Israeli embassy buildings today, we aren't allowed by the Hague mayor Van Aartsen to go further then here," somebody calls into the megaphone. "Here" is a small square next to the herring seller in the Binnenhof complex, on one side of parliament. Van Aartsen is booed.
"The agreement is that the demonstrators stay on the other side of the Hofweg road," says a police spokesperson. But after the Israeli flag is burned and trampled to loud cheers, the penetrating smell of burning nylon spreads, this agreement also breaks down. The first demonstrators cross the Hofweg and take positing across from the riot police. The tension quickly increases.
In no time, the whole group stands an arm's length away from the police. When a press photographer wants to pass through, one of the agents raises his baton threateningly. "Back!" The police turns out a siren. The protesters yell. The first group goes through. The police line pushes back, hitting with the batons. Demonstrators fall to the ground.
Gretta Duisenberg, famous defender of the Palestinian cause, also gets hit. Benji de Levie (63), next to her, gets several blows. "I took responsibility and just wanted to avoid a confrontation with the police," he would say an hour later, with a painful left arm held in front of his chest.
More police rushed to the site. A water cannon arrived, but was unused. The police line remains standing.
"Allahu Akbar" is heard, loudly and all over. Chairman Wim Lankamp of the Dutch Palestine Committee is not happy that the religious slogan is heard during the protest against the operation of the Israeli soldiers. "It distracts from the main message," he says. "You need to focus."
A group of young woman stands in the front row, right in front of the police. A toddler sitting on his father's shoulder also looks around from the front row. Gradually, the crowd realizes that they won't pass the police line.
Source: Volkskrant (Dutch)