Hundreds of Israeli Arabs Protest: 'The Charge: Being Arab; the Sentence: Death'

Demonstrations continue day after 22-year-old Israeli Arab shot dead by police in Kafr Kana.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Demonstrations continued Sunday in Arab communities and at universities across Israel, a day after the Israel Police opened fire and killed a 22-year-old in Kafr Kana.

About 40 masked protesters gathered at the northern entrance to the village, near Beit Rimon Junction, throwing stones, burning tires and blocking the road. Two men in their 20s were arrested.

Clashes were sporadic over the course of the day, with police officers preventing the demonstrators from reaching the main road. Tires were also burned in the main square in the village of Reineh, south of Kafr Kana, and the road connecting the two villages was blocked so that the objects that had been thrown on it could be cleared away.

In the village of Sha’ab, rioters pulled down the Israeli flag at the police station and flew the Palestinian flag in its stead. The Misgav district police have begun an investigation.

About 200 students demonstrated at the various universities across the countries. At Tel Aviv University, dozens of Arab students gathered at the entrance to campus, faced off by several right-wing activists that stood facing them, holding Israeli flags and heckling. Police officers stood between the demonstrators, and no incidents were reported.

At the University of Haifa, about 150 students demonstrated at the entrance to campus, organized by the student organizations of Hadash, Balad and the Islamic Movement. The students, who carried signs reading “Prosecute Minister Aharonovitch” and “The charge: being an Arab; the sentence: death,” shouted slogans against the police and the state.

Hassan Amara, a doctoral student in political science at the university, who lives in Kafr Kana, said that the demonstration was held to protest the police brutality during the incident in Kafr Kana, in which Khayr al-Din al-Hamdan was killed.

“How could they have shown him such contempt and dragged him like that? You saw the film clip - it was not manslaughter. It was murder, the result of the racist policy of the public security minister and also of Minister Naftali Bennett, who says, ‘He’s no citizen; he’s a terrorist.’ His incitement is a policy of terrorists, a policy of murder, of incitement, of simply saying: He’s an Arab, so he can be killed.”

The demonstrators did not intend to take any additional action for the present, Amara said. The demonstration broke up shortly afterward without incident.

Earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out against the demonstrations held over the weekend, calling the protesters who he said were "calling for the destruction of Israel."

Netanyahu told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting that anybody that broke the law during these demonstrations would be severely punished. "We will not tolerate disturbances and will act firmly against those who throw stones or firebombs, any blocking of traffic arteries, and demonstrations calling for our destruction," he said.

"We will not tolerate demonstrations in the heart of our cities in which the flags of Hamas and ISIS [the Islamic State, or ISIL] are waved, where there are calls for the redemption of Palestine with blood and fire, basically calling for the destruction of Israel," Netanyahu added. The time has to operate against these movements that want to destroy us



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