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PHOTOS: Police kill Bedouin man, wound dozens at funeral

Israeli police clash with Bedouin protesters during the funeral of Sami Ja’ar, who was shot by officers last week during a police operation in the southern city of Rahat.

Text by Michal Rotem
Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org

Bedouin men dodge live bullets and tear gas during clashes that erupted in the wake of a funeral, Rahat, southern Israel, January 18, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Bedouin men struggle to walk during clashes that erupted in the wake of a funeral, Rahat, southern Israel, January 18, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli police shot and killed 43-year-old Sami Ziadna and wounded a 50-year-old man, along with dozens of others Sunday night during clashes that erupted at a funeral in the southern city of Rahat.

Police fired live bullets, tear gas and sound grenades during the funeral of Sami Ja’ar, who was shot to death in the early hours of Thursday morning during a police operation. The Police Investigations Unit is currently looking into that incident.

A man bleeds from his head during clashes between Bedouin and Israeli police in the city of Rahat, January 18, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A man bleeds from his head during clashes between Bedouin and Israeli police in the city of Rahat, January 18, 2015. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

In the wake of Ja’ar’s shooting death, the  Arab Higher Monitoring Committee (an independent political organization whose aim is to coordinate the political actions of various Arab bodies in Israel) declared a general strike last Friday and Sunday. The Rahat’s Municipality and Israel Police ostensibly agreed that police officers would not be present during the funeral, so as not to stoke the anger of the residents. Despite the agreement, a police car showed up to the funeral, and residents began to throw stones.

Tear gas clouds streak the sky during clashes between police and Bedouin in the city of Rahat. The clashes erupted in the wake of Sami Ja'ar's funeral, who was killed last week during a police operation in the city. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Tear gas clouds streak the sky during clashes between police and Bedouin in the city of Rahat. The clashes erupted in the wake of Sami Ja’ar’s funeral, who was killed last week during a police operation in the city. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

According to a report in Haaretz, the officers responded to shots being fired in the air, as well as firecrackers, by firing teargas. Reinforcements were rushed in to evacuate the policemen to safety. Medical teams treated 15 mourners, who were all evacuated to the Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.

Hundreds hold a funeral for Sami Ja'ar in the streets of Rahat. Ja'ar was shot by police officers last week during an operation in the city. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Hundreds hold a funeral for Sami Ja’ar in the streets of Rahat. Ja’ar was shot by police officers last week during an operation in the city. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

In the wake of the incident, the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee declared that the strike will last until Tuesday. Demonstrations were set to take place Monday in Rahat, Haifa, Shefa-‘Amr, Ben-Gurion University, Haifa University and Tel Aviv University.

Correction:
A previous version of this article mistakenly described one of the wounded at the funeral as a 12 year old.

Related:
Police drag, arrest and allegedly beat Bedouin child
Activists hold ‘day of rage’ protests against Prawer Plan

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    COMMENTS

      • Pedro X

        As usual Bruce ignores the topic of the article.

        As usual 972mag.com fails to provide the full context of the matter. The deceased on Thursday was killed in a drug bust. Times of Israel reports

        “According to the police account of al-Jaar’s death, policemen shot in the air after they were attacked by stones as they entered Rahat to arrest several people for drug-related crimes. Al-Jaar, who was standing nearby, was hit.”

        Then the Arabs rioted at the funeral attacking the police. Two policemen were injured, one moderately. The police responded to the riot.

        Reply to Comment
        • Fred Jenning

          That does not justify “the most moral army on earth” firing live rounds at demonstrators. Name another civilised western country that does this.

          Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            They were rioting and attacking police. It was not a peaceful demonstration.

            Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            Even if this were true, it doesn’t excuse anything. And of course you’re consciously avoiding the question.

            Now, even if protesters are in fact rioting an clashing with Police, which western country uses live-ammunition in such cases?

            Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            The United States certainly has.

            Reply to Comment
          • Felix Reichert

            Around the time of the six day war. Almost 50 years ago. In very few and very isolated cases. Prompting nationwide protests of millions.

            In a country of several hundred million people, on top of that. There’s bound to be some abuse of power there from time to time.

            How about today? Which western country (or non-western country, for that matter) still uses live-ammo against demonstrators?

            Reply to Comment
        • Perdro, was Al-Jaar a suspect at the time, or a bystander?

          Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          Greg, it is not clear. The police had arrested 2 suspects when they were brutally attacked by a mob pelting them with stones. Several policemen were injured. The police said they fired their guns to escape the mob. Was the deceased part of the mob or a by-stander watching what was going down?

          What is known is that lawmen were attacked in the midst of doing their duties. Arabs tried to prevent the lawmen from doing their duty and tried to harm them. Several lawmen were injured. One Arab man was killed when the lawmen used to their guns to escape the mob. The deceased Arab man may have been a bystander killed in the chaos.

          Reply to Comment
          • What was the incoming trajectory of the bullet?

            It is VERY unlikely that US police would shoot in the air in this manner, precisely because bullets follow the rules of gravity, and will descend achieving the same speed with which they begin, save for air resistance.

            Why did the Arabs “brutally attack [as] a mob pelting [the police] with stones?” Was it really a mob? Your sources?

            Reply to Comment
          • Pedro X

            Here is one source, ynet:

            “Two suspects were arrested, after which officers were attacked by a crowd and pelted with stones. The officers said they fired into the air to escape. A police source said the officers were “brutally attacked” and were protecting the arrested individuals with their bodies.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            We’ve all heard so many police denials that have later been contradicted by camera evidence or by credible witness evidence that there comes a point, doesn’t there Pedro, that one cannot accept Israeli police denials at face value.

            Reply to Comment
        • Weiss

          Save your racist rants for The Hague you Fascist.

          Because you are gonna need them when the ICC war crimes tribunal starts.

          You do NOT speak for the Jews…

          Especially not THIS JEW…

          …PedroX…. And yet ANOTHER reason why I am Ashamed to be Jewish.

          Reply to Comment
          • Tony Riley

            You should be far more ashamed to be a Jew-hater.

            Reply to Comment
    1. Danny

      Would Israeli police use such brutality against Jewish demonstrators? Would a Jew be denied the right a respectful funeral in Israel?

      We know the answer to these questions is NO and NO.

      Israel is the leading purveyor of Islamophobia in the world today, but the U.S. is catching up fast:

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2015/01/18/american-sniper-box-office/21953225/

      Reply to Comment
    2. Mikesailor

      Joel: It seems that “heart attacks” are contagious among non-Jews in Israel and the occupied territories. But it is a specific type of contagion: it occurs after being tear-gassed. Also, there seems to be an epidemic of deaths and wounds among the same population from live fire. Apparently Jews are vaccinated from these maladies for they only occur among non-Jews with Jews present but immune. It can’t be murder because Jews are the perpetrators, right?

      Reply to Comment
      • Joel

        @Mike

        It can’t be murder because he died of a heart attack.

        Mike. I’ve been meaning to tell you. Go fuck yourself.

        Reply to Comment
    3. Mikesailor

      Everyone except Jews die of heart attacks. If I remember right, the Palestinian minister also died of a “heart attack”. It seems all non-Jews die just naturally with Israeli Jews just standing around doing nothing. And bullets just fall from the sky, and children just happen to get in the way of Israeli sponge-tipped bullets and artillery fire. Stick it where the sun don’t shine, Joel. At least lie better and more convincingly than you have shown us so far.

      Reply to Comment
      • Joel

        The Jerusalem Post reported that the man died of a heart attack, so I’m not the liar.

        I’m not wasting any more time.

        Fuck off, you Jew-hating scumbag.

        FUCK OFF.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bryan

          No shades of grey are there Joel – only black and white. Haaretz, which is often far more objective than JP, says “The circumstances of Ziadna’s death were not entirely clear, but the Magen David Adom rescue service said he appears to have died of a heart attack after inhaling tear gas.” (http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/1.637954)

          Reply to Comment
          • Joel

            No Bryan, there are no shades of grey.

            He either died of a heart attack (coronary blockage), he died of asphyxiation (lack of oxygen), or he died of a bullet wound.

            What do you want, Bryan?

            Reply to Comment
          • Bryan

            Do not talk such nonsense – most death certificates issued by doctors in the western world offer multiple causes of death: usually a heart-attack is not independent to other symptoms, so the idea that a heart-attack is triggered by, for instance, tear-gas (and not just ordinary tear-gas but especially virulent tear-gas) will make sense to all impartial viewers of this site.

            Reply to Comment
        • Weiss

          Most of us here are Jewish including myself, so the anti-Semite card won’t fly here Joel.

          YOU Do NOT speak for THIS Jew.

          And the fact that my own grandfather was killed in WW2 by the Nazis while helping to defeat them reinforces my disgust for the Fascist leadership that is destroying Israel and Jewish society FROM WITHIN…

          This Jew will NOT be SILENT!

          Reply to Comment
    4. Mikesailor

      Poor Joel. Using JPost as an authoritative source is like using Der Sturmer for an expose on Nazis. Why not try Arutz Sheva? Or that other bird-cage liner: Israel Hayom? Kind of pathetic, aren’t you? See, here’s the funny thing. ActiveStills was there on the ground witnessing the events while JPost, in its inimitable “journalistic” method merely parroted whatever the police told them and then publish as if it’s gospel. You are one sad case Joel. Bye now.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        “…using Der Sturmer for an expose on Nazis…”

        Your favorite journal Mikey, you old Nazi you …

        Go on… admit it Mikey ….
        just admit it…. the truth will set you free Mikey ….

        Reply to Comment
    5. It shouldn’t be that hard to verify the presence of an entry wound. Either JPost or ActiveStills is incorrect. If neither retracts, one is lying.

      While Muslims are buried quickly, there has to be a medically signed cause of death with state of the body. No MD will fail to mention a bullet entry unless politics intervenes. So this case, because of the JPost report, is rapidly approaching either bad reporting by failed retraction on the part of ActiveStills, or obstruction and conspiracy to obstruct justice on the part of the hospital.

      Reply to Comment
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