Israeli protester shouts, 'death to the Arabs' at Jewish-Muslim wedding

(Photo: REUTERS / Ammar Awad)Groom Mahmoud Mansour, 26, and his bride Maral Malka, 23, celebrate with friends and family before their wedding in Mahmoud's family house in Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv August 17, 2014. Israeli police on Sunday blocked more than 200 far-right Israeli protesters from rushing guests at the wedding of a Jewish woman and Muslim man as they shouted "death to the Arabs" in a sign of tensions stoked by the Gaza war.

Protesters shouting "death to the Arabs" caused disruption at a wedding of a Jewish woman and a Muslim man in Tel Aviv, an action that was condemned by the Israeli president.

More than 200 protesters, many of them wearing black shirts, sang songs with the message, "May your village burn down," Reuters reported.

Maral Malka, 23, and Mahmoud Mansour, 26, both from the Jaffa part of Tel Aviv, went ahead with their wedding on Sunday despite protests and harassment.

Police kept the protesters 200 meters (200 yards) from the wedding hall at the request of the couple.

The group Lehava organized the protest and has harassed the couple in the past, citing religious grounds to object their marriage.

They denounced Malka, who was born Jewish and converted to Islam, and called her "traitor against the Jewish state."

Lehava spokesman Michael Ben-Ari said that intermarriage with non-Jews is "worse than what Hitler did."

A protester against the wedding, Ofer Golan, told France 24, "It's time that the Muslim will leave Israel.

"That's it. This is a Jewish country, they don't belong here, they don't have to be here. They have 22 countries; they can go anywhere they like."

At the same time as the wedding some left-wing Israelis held a counter-protest nearby holding flowers, balloons, and a sign that read, "Love conquers all."

Merav Ronen, told France 24, "This is the country of Israel. Yes, it's a Jewish state, but it is also a democratic state. People cannot live their lives according to what anybody else tells them."

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, on his Facebook page said that the protest is "cause for outrage and concern."

"Such expressions undermine the basis of our coexistence here, in Israel, a country that is both Jewish and democratic," said Rivlin.

Arabs, the majority of whom are Muslims, make up some 20 percent of Israel's population.

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