Jaffa Arabs Riot After Robbery Suspect Killed

YERUSHALAYIM -
Palestinians carry the body of Fathi Kanan during his funeral ceremony in the Arab village of Hizma, Friday. Kanan died from his wounds after being injured in clashes against Israeli security forces earlier in the week. (Flash90)

Hundreds of police officers were on duty Motzoei Shabbos in Jaffa, as the family of an Arab resident who was shot and killed by police earlier in the day prepared to bury him. The 22-year-old was shot after police pursued a group on motorcycles who had apparently robbed a shop. Police chased after the group and opened fire on the riders, hitting one and wounding him seriously.

He died shortly afterwards, and Arabs began burning tires and rioting. Police closed off streets in central Jaffa, as hundreds of residents marched in protest over the incident. Protesters threw rocks and objects at police and smashed windows of police cars and shops. Residents told Channel Two that “there has been a lot of tension in Jaffa in recent days, both over the heavy-handedness of police and the tensions in Yerushalayim” over the rioting on Har HaBayis. “If we don’t protest police will keep shooting us down.”

An attorney for the family said that “as far as we are concerned this was murder in cold blood. We expect a full investigation and for the officer who shot this young man to be put on trial. I have no doubt that the riots will continue one way or another if such a trial does not take place.”

Police said that the incident occurred about 4:30 Shabbos morning, when they received a report of a break-in at a butcher shop in Jaffa. Police on patrol in the area investigated, and when they arrived they saw a group leaving the scene on motorcycles. A pursuit developed, and at one point police opened fire on the group. Three of the suspects were hit, and one was seriously wounded, later dying of his injuries.

Police said Motzoei Shabbos that the situation in the city was under control. An investigation was proceeding, police said, appealing for calm and stressing that they would be on alert to break up any further riots.