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.
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.”