Grand Palace Seizure
|Grand Palace Seizure|
Islamic Emirate of Acre |
Kingdom of Northumbria
|Commanders and leaders|
|Rilgar Ompastre||Daniel Hadad|
The Grand Palace Seizure occurred in March of 2021 when a small group of secular Zionist militants calling for the dissolution of the Emirate seized the Grand Palace and the Emir of Acre. The insurgents controlled the Palace for several hours while the Akkan government scrambled to respond. The takeover was finally ended when a group of Emirati sympathisers who had amassed outside the Palace threatened to enter if the militants did not peacefully leave.
The government was strongly condemned for its inaction, and many accused Speaker Robert Lieberman of harbouring secret sympathies for the insurgents. In the days following the seizure, large groups protested outside the Akkan Parliament in Paris Square, Haifa. Chancellor Eli Barak of the Labor Zionist Party resigned from the government and offered to create a new coalition with the opposition parties who refused. After consecutive days of protest, Parliament was officially dissolved, triggering the April 2021 general election.
The three insurgents first entered the Palace in the late morning, having been welcomed by the Emir. Once inside, they took the Emir hostage, and publicised the events to the wider Akkan community. The leader of the group, Daniel Hadad, demanded the immediate abolition of the Emirate, the Shura Council and the religious courts, and also demanded the future drafting of a new constitution and removal of Acre's main flag in favour of its secondary alternative which bears the Star of David.
In the early afternoon, Prime Minister Rilgar Ompastre of the Kingdom of Northumbria released a letter condemning the insurgents and calling on Akkan citizens to defend their Emir. Many Akkans were incensed at the fact that the government had yet to respond. Finally, approaching 3pm the Prime Minister's office released a statement also condemning the insurgents, and calling on them to immediately leave the Palace.
By 5pm a small group of counter-protestors had assembled outside the Palace, and threatened to enter if the insurgents did not leave. This proved effective, and the militants left via a back entrance shortly afterwards. The Emir thanked the crowd, and condemned the government for failing to assemble a force to oust the group.
Criticism of the government
During and after the seizure, many groups criticised the government for its ineffective response. Leader of the Opposition Ali Kadhimi asked why they failed to create a force to retake the Palace, and suggested that Robert Lieberman of the Movement for the Homeland maintained tacit support for the insurgents by slowing down the government's response, though no evidence of this was provided.
For three days afterwards, protestors assembled outside the Akkan Parliament demanding its immediate dissolution and the holding of new elections. Eli Barak announced his resignation as Chancellor and his party's withdrawal from the coalition government. In private talks with the PDU and the Liberal Union he sought to create a new coalition government, but was turned down; many accused Barak of trying to distance himself from the crisis instead of taking ownership of the mistakes.
On the 23rd of March, the PDU, the Peace & Equality Party and the Communist Party announced the creation of the Joint List for the Protection of Arab Communities, an electoral alliance and introduced a bill to dissolve Parliament. With the support of the Liberal Union and the Labor Zionists, this passed, and April 1st was announced as the date of new elections.