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Justice unlikely in deadly Kafr Kanna police shooting

Clashes break out in the town in northern Israel as police demolish local resident’s home. Knesset member warns of ‘consequences’ if the officer who shot Khair Hamdan isn’t charged.

Arab youth clash with Israeli riot police in Kafr Kanna, Israel, November 8, 2014. The protests took place after an Arab man from the village was shot and killed by Israeli policemen. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian Arab youth clash with Israeli riot police in Kafr Kanna, Israel, November 8, 2014. The protests took place after a man from the village was shot and killed by Israeli policemen. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The Israeli Police’s internal affairs unit plans to close its investigation into the officer who was filmed shooting and killing Kheir Hamdan in Kafr Kanna last year, according to a Channel 10 report.

The shooting led to days of rioting and clashes with police last November when video of the incident surfaced hours after police put out a short statement saying they had fired a warning shot and believed their lives were in danger. The video showed Hamdan attempting to flee when he was shot, and appeared to show no warning shot.

According to the Channel 10 report, the officer who killed Hamdan was never questioned under caution during the internal affairs investigation and will likely not face any criminal charges.

Additionally, the Police Investigations Department (PID), reportedly planned to delay announcing the decision until after Nakba Day, May 15, in hopes of not fanning the flames on a day that traditionally sees large protests and commemorative marches.

“Arab society will not tolerate another case in which an Arab is murdered by the police, and yet there is no murderer,” MK Basel Ghattas of Balad responded to the report.

Calling on the police internal affairs to press charges against the officer, Ghattas warned of the “consequences of closing the case [without charges].”

The local council of Kafr Kanna declared a general strike Monday in protest of a home demolition carried out by Israeli police in the village overnight.

Clashes and riots broke out in Kafr Kanna Sunday night when police carried out the demolition of a home owned by Tariq Khatib. Six protesters, including the head of the local council, were wounded by tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets.

The homeowner, Khatib, told Israeli news site Ynet, “The State has no right to demolish my home, and if they demolish it another 100 times I will build it again.”

Ghattas, who reportedly visited the demolished home on Monday, said that he had attempted to intervene with the planning authorities to help save the home, adding that “the regional council’s stubbornness and imperviousness is what caused this.”

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    1. Pedro X

      A wild, violent man attacks police with a knife. He tries to get into their vehicle. He slashes in the direction of the police as they try to exit. He backs up a bit, still holding the knife, still is a lethal danger, and is shot. There are no grounds for laying charges against the police officer. Justice has been done.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Tireless misinformation and dehumanization in equal amounts. Always served cold and bland. And always the first one in. No job? The truth is that you have one set of humane standards for Jews and another set for Arabs. It comes across in everything you write. As Gideon Levy says, three factors operate here: Chosenness, Victimhood, Dehumanization. In this scheme, anything is permitted because you see yourself as a kind of resistance fighter against evil hordes. So you can say anything because the truth is not the issue.

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          Ben’s tireless blather as an alternative to confronting Pedro’s facts.

          Reply to Comment
        • Baladi Akka 1948

          “No job ?”
          Working for Hasbara International IS a job, Pedro is clearly a full-time employee.
          To racist scumbags like him, killing an Arab is always okay, that Khayr al-Din Hamdan was killed by a bullet in the back doesn’t matter at all, the only thing Pedro regrets is that he wasn’t killed while still in his craddle.

          Reply to Comment