Over 10,000 Jews, Arabs in Tel Aviv human rights march

Demonstrators protested against rising tide of extremist sentiment in Israel.

Tel Aviv: Around 10,000 Jews and Arabs on Friday demonstrated in Tel Aviv in protest at a rising tide of extremist sentiment in Israel that they warn is posing a growing threat to democracy in the country.

The march, which organisers said included almost 1,000 refugees and asylum-seekers from Sudan, Somalia and other parts of Africa, was timed to coincide with International Human Rights Day.

More than 120 Israeli rights groups and NGOs joined the second annual Human Rights March, organised by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

As they marched through the streets to Rabin Square, demonstrators raised flags emblazoned with "Human rights apply to everyone" and "Let me live with liberty and dignity”, while others read: "Asylum seekers are not criminals."

"It was a show of force by the human rights community in Israel marching in support of human rights, democracy and equality for all of Israel`s citizens," ACRI`s executive director Hagai El-Ad said.

"It was also an expression of protest against the rising tide of racism and about the government`s inaction in advocating equal rights," he said.