Middle East

Fatal Israel police shooting probed as video emerges

Palestinian youths in Jerusalem 7 Nov Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption There has been weeks of unrest, mainly in Jerusalem

Israeli police are investigating the fatal shooting of an Arab-Israeli man in northern Israel, as video emerged raising questions over the events.

Police said the man, 22, tried to attack officers with a knife in Kfar Kana and, "with their lives in danger", fired at the suspect.

Video shows the man hitting a police vehicle. An officer then gets out and shoots the man as he walks away.

The incident comes amid weeks of unrest, mainly in Jerusalem.

Four people have died in two separate attacks on pedestrians in the city in the past two weeks. Two attackers were also killed.

Tyres burned

The town of Kfar Kana is in Galilee, about 5km (3 miles) north-east of Nazareth.

Police had arrived before dawn on Saturday to arrest a relative of the man, named by Israeli media as Khair al-din Hamdan.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Police after Friday prayers in Jerusalem, where tension remains high

The Jerusalem Post quoted an initial statement from Northern District police as saying Mr Hamdan was carrying a knife and tried to attack the officers. They fired a warning shot in the air, police said, and that "with their lives in danger the officers fired at the suspect".

The newspaper also carried what it said was video footage of the incident.

It shows the man hitting the police vehicle on the side windows, possibly with an object in his right hand.

The man backs away and an officer emerges from the van. The officer raises his gun and fires as the man turns his back.

Three other officers then emerge from the vehicle, drawing guns.

The Jerusalem Post says no warning shots can be seen and that, in a longer version of the video, "the wounded man can be seen still moving as police pick him up and place his body in the patrol vehicle".

The man died later in hospital in Afula.

Ynet said the shooting had sparked protests, with youths burning tyres and blocking roads.

It quoted the family as saying: "The security cameras clearly show that there was no danger to the lives of the officers.

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Media captionYolande Knell on footage of the attack this week in Jerusalem

"The video shows him running away from the officers; this horrifying incident could have been avoided, but unfortunately they decided to kill him in a cruel way."

Officials in Kfar Kana have declared a general strike.

There had been further violence overnight in east Jerusalem, with youths throwing stones and fireworks at police, who responded with tear gas.

The fate of Jerusalem is one of the most contentious issues between Israel and the Palestinians.

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, while Israel regards the whole of Jerusalem as its "eternal and indivisible capital".

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Media captionYolande Knell examines the tension around Jerusalem's al-Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount compound

Israel occupied East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in 1980 in a move not recognised internationally.

Two weeks ago a baby girl and an Ecuadorian woman were killed when a Palestinian attacker drove his car into a group of pedestrians in Jerusalem. The attacker was shot dead.

In another incident, a prominent right-wing Jewish activist, Rabbi Yehuda Glick, was shot and injured. Police then shot dead a Palestinian suspected of carrying out the attack.

On Wednesday a Palestinian rammed his van into people waiting at a tram station, then attacked police.

One person was killed at the scene and another died from his injuries on Friday morning. The attacker was shot dead.

The militant group Hamas said it carried out that attack.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered that the homes of Palestinians who have carried out attacks in Jerusalem be demolished.