Police shot and killed 22-year-old Khir Hamdan in the village of Kafr Kanna overnight on Saturday after he attempted to attack them with a knife.
A security camera that captured the shooting show that Hamdan was fleeing from the officers when they shot him, which ostensibly means he posed no threat to the lives of the policemen at that moment.
The video shows Hamda trying to attack a riot police unit (known in Hebrew as “Yassam”) van that arrived in the village with what appears to be a knife. After several seconds, the policemen exit the vehicle and Hamdan backs off and starts running away. While he is fleeing, one of the policemen shoots him. Hamdan died a few hours later.
Hamdan’s family blames the officers for the “cold-blooded murder” of their son, who they claim posed no threat when shot. A demonstration against the killing was set to take place Saturday afternoon. Police told Ynet that Hamdan “tried to stab the policemen during the arrest of a village residents. That is why they shot him. We are continuing to look into the matter.”
The event took place just two days after Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich essentially endorsed the extra-judicial killing of murder suspects, in the wake of last week’s terror attack in Jerusalem. Aharonovich’s statement is an affront to the rule of law, not to mention police procedures, which require police to shoot in order to neutralize a threat, rather than to kill.
One must wonder whether Aharonovich’s statement influenced those policemen who acted Saturday morning in Kafr Kanna, this time within the Green Line.
Update (3:30 p.m.):
Israel Police announces it will open an investigation into Hamdan’s death. In Kafr Kanna, roughly 80 youths clashed with police forces in the run-up to the demonstration. Police were using sponge-tipped bullets and putrid “skunk” water canons to disperse the demonstrators. Inside the town, thousands turned out for a demonstration.