Clashes between police and Palestinian rioters raged Saturday night in Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem as tensions remained high in the capital.
Police said officers arrested two residents of Shuafat on suspicion of throwing stones at the Jerusalem light rail in the northern neighborhood. Some damaged was caused to the train, but no injuries were reported. The train continued its journey.
Masked rioters threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli security personnel in the neighborhood of a-Tur.
Thousands of Israeli Arab protesters massed Saturday afternoon and evening along the main street of the Galilee town Kafr Kanna, protesting what they said was state terror in the death of 22-year-old local man Kheir Hamdan on Friday night. The town mayor called the incident “murder in cold blood.”
Demonstrators carried posters bearing Hamdan’s picture which read “His only crime was being Arab,” and chanting “Zionists, get out of our lives.” They waved Palestinian flags, and called for the dismissal of the police officers involved in Friday night’s shooting, senior police chiefs, and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch. They decried the police’s “light trigger finger” which they said led to Hamdan being shot and killed.
Mayor Majhad Awadeh and MK Mohammad Barakeh (Hadash) participated in the protest, as did several Arab former MKs. An Arab umbrella group called for a state-wide general strike Sunday by Arab workers in response to the shooting.
In it, Hamdan is seen attacking a police van, banging on the windows. An officer gets out and, as Hamdan is seen retreating, shoots him. Hamdan writhes on the ground, before police drag him into the van.
Israel Police chief Yohanan Danino on Saturday decided to raise the national alert level to the second highest following riots that broke out in the Galilean town of Kafr Kanna in response to police killing Friday of an Arab man. Israel’s Arab sector has called a one-day strike Sunday in protest of the killing.
Israeli Arab leaders voiced outrage over the police’s conduct in Friday night’s incident, in which police shot and killed Hamdan, who allegedly attempted to stab officers who were dispatched to arrest a relative of his.
IDF soldiers gave out orders Saturday informing Palestinians of Israel’s plans to confiscate 3,176 acres (12,852 dunams) around Beit Iksa for military purposes, Palestinian media reported.
Beit Iksa residents said to Ma’an news agency that soldiers at a checkpoint distributed the orders, signed by head of the IDF Central Command Gen. Nitzan Alon.
The orders gave the residents until the end of 2017 to leave the land in question. They also said that soldiers informed the Beit Iksa residents that an IDF liaison would come on Monday to explain which parcels of land would be confiscated.