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Israeli forces raid Negev village slated for demolition, kill resident

Image of Israeli occupation forces [file photo]
Image of Israeli occupation forces [file photo]

Israeli security forces killed a Bedouin Palestinian citizen early Wednesday morning, as authorities moved ahead with plans to demolish the entire village of Umm al-Hiran.

Israeli police claim that local resident Yaqub al-Qiyan, a 47-year-old father and maths teacher, was shot while conducting a car-ramming attack that also left a police officer dead.

Residents and eyewitnesses, however, disputed this version of events, saying that al-Qiyan was “trying to leave the village and lost control of his car only after police fired at him.”

Another eyewitness told AFP: “The Israeli narrative is a lie. He was a revered school teacher…He was in his car and they shot at him from everywhere.”

The dawn raid involved hundreds of armed Israeli security forces, who accompanied bulldozers sent to demolish the village’s homes. Israeli police also restricted access to the village for journalists.

Those wounded by Israeli forces included Knesset member and Joint List head, MK Ayman Odeh, who was pictured bleeding from his head.

An aide to Odeh told Israeli media: “They attacked the MP and other people — demonstrators — with stun grenades, tear gas directly in people’s faces.”

According to an Israeli state plan, Umm al-Hiran is to be demolished, and its roughly 1,000 inhabitants forcibly displaced, in order for a new Jewish town, Hiran, to be established on its ruins.

In 2015, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected residents’ appeals, and backed the state’s plan. Last year, the Court also rejected requests to re-consider this judgement.

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