Arab rage spilled over into the Galilee in Northern Israel Saturday, one day after police killed an armed Arab who attacked their vehicle but who is shown in a video running away from police when an officer shot him in the back and killed him.
The mayor of the city accused police of “murder in cold blood,” but the police said their officers were in a life-threatening situation because the attacker was armed with a knife. He was identified as 22-year-old Kheir Hamdan
Former and current Knesset Members as well as current Arab MKs joined thousands of protesters Saturday afternoon in a protest that turned into a full-scale riot, complete with rock-throwing and firebombs aimed at police as well as burning tires in the streets.
MK Ahmed Tibi demanded the arrest of the police officer who shot and killed Hamdan.
The police version of the incident is that Hamdan tried to stab officer when they attempted to arrest him at his house for allegedly having thrown a stun grenade. Police official said that officers fired warning shots in the air and then shot and killed him when he ignored the warning.
The video, as seen below and probably edited, only shows that Hamdan banged on a police vehicle and then ran away when officers got out of their vehicle and shot him in the back as he fled.
The Justice Ministry said it will investigate police behavior.
Even if the video turns out to be a “Pallywood” edit of an obvious life-threatening attack on police, history has shown that rioters will believe what they want to believe.
This does not automatically acquit the police, whose behavior in protests has often proved to be totally unprofessional.
Kfar Kanna was quiet Saturday night as Hamdan’s funeral took place, but more violence is expected later in the night or tomorrow.
Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett commented, “A crazed and Arab terrorist, armed with a knife, attempted to murder police officers who were in their vehicle. The reaction of the police was exactly what should be expected by security officers. It is necessary to investigate, but this was not a cold-blooded murder, and there is no room to abandon police officers who are deployed to defend us.
“If we do not support them, we will see more and more murders with knives, firecrackers and hit-and-run terrorists.”