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 struggle to walk 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.

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