BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian citizens of Israel and their supporters took to the streets in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory on Wednesday to protest an evacuation raid in a Bedouin community in the Negev which turned deadly earlier in the day, with one Palestinian citizen of Israel and an Israeli police officer dying in disputed circumstances.
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Umm al-Hiran, where Bedouin resident Yaqoub Moussa Abu al-Qian, 47, was shot dead by Israeli police, who claimed that the math teacher was carrying out a vehicular attack which killed police officer Erez Levi, 34.
However, a number of witnesses and Palestinian officials with Israeli citizenship have disputed Israeli security forces’ version of events, saying that police officers opened fire on Abu al-Qian despite him not representing a threat, causing him to lose control of his vehicle and fatally hit Levi.
Knesset member Ayman Odeh, the head of the Joint List, which represents parties led by Palestinian citizens of Israel, was injured in the head and back during the raid, although witnesses and police disputed how he had been injured and by whom.
The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, a division of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, declared three days of mourning in Palestinian-majority towns and villages in Israel following the deadly raid.
The committee also called for Palestinian citizens of Israel to launch a general strike on Thursday, and for teachers to discuss the recent events in Umm al-Hiran with students.