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Hundreds of Arab Israelis protest after student death

UMM-AL FAHEM: Israeli Arab men pray during a protest after a student was killed in a reported police shootout in this northern Arab-Israeli town on Friday. —AFP

UMM AL-FAHM, Israel: Hundreds of Arab Israelis demonstrated Friday in northern Israel after a student was killed in a reported police shootout this week, an AFP reporter said.
Protesters defied coronavirus restrictions on gatherings to demonstrate in front of the police station in the Arab-Israeli city of Umm Al-Fahm. They chanted “Police out!” and demanded political action against violence and criminality in Arab-majority areas of Israel.
According to media reports, Ahmad Hijazi, a young Arab Israeli nursing student, was killed by the police overnight Monday to Tuesday during a shootout with suspected criminals in Tamra, around 30 kilometers north of Haifa. Thousands of people attended his funeral Tuesday, Israeli media said.
Arab Israeli lawmaker Yousef Jabareen said on Twitter that protesters had called on police and the government on Friday to “stop talking and start taking action” against violence and criminality. “The days pass and the victims pile up. The authorities have abandoned us to our fate, letting us sink in the blood of our children and in a sea of illegal weapons,” Jabareen wrote.
Arab Israelis-Palestinians who stayed on their land following the Jewish state’s creation in 1948 and their descendants-make up about 20 percent of Israel’s roughly nine million people. By law, their rights are equal to those of Jewish citizens. But they say that in practice they suffer discrimination in employment, housing, policing and other essentials. NGOs have long accused the Israeli police of turning a blind eye to gun violence among Arab Israelis. —AFP

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