main train station on Tuesday to protest US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
German authorities had said they would prevent any burning of the Israeli flag after two were set on fire at a Friday demonstration outside the US embassy near the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin.
Trump’s decision to recognize the divided city as Israel’s capital and eventually move the US embassy there was welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but unleashed international criticism and worldwide protests by the Muslim community.
Some 400 police officers were deployed to monitor the Berlin rally on Tuesday, which took place at 4 pm (1500 GMT).
Protestors shouted “Freedom for Palestine” and “Down, down Israel.”
Police said beforehand they would intervene if necessary. Translators were also reportedly on-hand to prevent demonstrators from shouting out hate-slogans.
Flag-burning is not illegal in Germany, but its occurrance at anti-Israel rallies has been condemned by Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
The US move to recognize Jerusalem “does not justify in any way hate against Israel or disparaging our fellow Jewish citizens,” Steinmeier said during a trip to Ghana.
Critics argue that Trump’s move undermined efforts to reach a two-state solution with the Palestinians, who see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
Jewish groups planned to mark the start of Hanukkah on Tuesday by setting up a menorah at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate, which is not far from the city’s main train station. Berlin police said they would mount an effort to keep the two groups apart.(dpa/NAN)