Palestinian shot dead in Kafr Qasim clash
A Palestinian citizen of Israel was shot dead by a private security guard in the town of Kafr Qasim late on Monday night amid clashes between residents and the security forces.
The man was identified as Mohammed Taha, 21, a local resident who had joined hundreds to protest against the police in the Palestinian-majority town in Israel.
Violence broke out in Kafr Qasim after the police attempted to detain a local resident, according to Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
When the man resisted arrest, a number of residents threw stones at the arresting officers who eventually detained the suspect, the spokesperson added.
READ MORE: Israel approves plans to tighten grip on East Jerusalem
When residents later attacked the police station, a private security guard opened fire towards the demonstrators, claimed the Israeli police. The security guard had opened fire “as a result of a life-threatening situation” Rosenfeld stated.
Taha was taken to a local hospital in a serious condition and later died of his injuries. His funeral is expected to be held in Kafr Qasim later on Tuesday.
His father Mahmoud told Israeli media outlet Ynet that his son was “murdered”. He said that his son “did not pose a danger at all. If he did, they should have shot him in the leg, not three times in the head”.
The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee declared that it held the Israeli police responsible for the violence in Kafr Qasim and announced that a general strike would be held in the Palestinian communities of Israel on Wednesday in response to the shooting.
The committee also called for street demonstrations at intersections near major Palestinian towns on Thursday, as well as a mass demonstration in Kafr Qasim on Saturday to protest against the killing.
Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List in the Israeli Knesset, visited Kafr Qasim early on Tuesday and criticised police action in Palestinian communities.
“I am in Kafr Qasim with residents who couldn’t tolerate this disfigured reality any more, where their blood is being shed in vain,” he said, as reported by Maan news agency. “Instead of keeping order and security in Arab towns, they [the police] open fire at the residents of Kafr Qasim.”
The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee also criticised Israeli police for failing to tackle crime in Palestinian towns in Israel.
Beginning on Sunday, residents of the town had kept their children from attending school in protest over a lack of policing in the town, amid a number of recent murders there. Last Thursday, two men were killed in the town and the police have yet to make any arrests in the case.
Residents have established local security committees in an attempt to bring order to the town but the police do not support the initiative.
Source: Al Jazeera