About 300 people protested in the Israeli Arab city of Tamra on Tuesday night after the funeral of a nursing student killed in the crossfire during a police shootout.
Some 10,000 people showed up at the funeral of Ahmad Hijazi, 22. Hijazi was one of two people killed and two wounded on Tuesday in an exchange of fire between police officers and three suspected criminals. It has not been ascertained whether he was killed by police fire. The Justice Ministry unit that investigates allegations of police misconduct has opened an investigation into the incident.
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Hijazi was hit by stray bullets when he stepped out of the home of Dr. Muhammad Armoush, where he had been studying, to see the reason for the noise during the shootout. Armoush, who went out after him, was injured. A strike and three days of mourning were declared in Tamra.
The Israel Police Northern District Commander, Maj. Gen. Nitzan Lavi, told Kan Bet public radio Tuesday that “We send our condolences to the family, but the bottom line is that we must understand that our active operations are intended to improve the personal safety of Tamra residents, who are suffering because of the same few criminals who are effecting the sense of security.”
But Tamra Mayor Suhail Diab contends that the police aren’t doing enough. “We remember well that when the government wanted to, it fought crime in cities like Netanya and other places. It’s time to do the same in the Arab communities.”