Arab-Israelis have accused Israeli police of murder after a young man was shot dead during clashes that erupted overnight following the arrest of another man in Kafr Qasim, an Arab town in central Israel.
Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Arab bloc of lawmakers in Israel’s parliament, accused the police of “continuing crimes against Arab citizens”.
They continue to treat the Arab minority as enemies who must be fought and not protected
he said in a statement.
According to local news outlet Arab48, police officers fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at the crowd, which it said had gathered to denounce police failure to properly handle the high level of crime in Kafr Qasim.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement that a local police station came under attack and a security guard opened fire “as a result of a life threatening situation”.
Rosenfeld said police have been trying to calm the situation by talking to local leaders and have deployed extra units.
Odeh and other Arab leaders have, however, called for police to leave the area and allow protests to continue after the funeral of Ahmed Mahmoud Taha, 20, was held last night.
Lawyer Adel Badir, an eyewitness quoted by Arab48, disputed the police account, saying he was close to Taha who was posing no danger to anyone.