JERUSALEM (AFP) – Police shot dead a young Arab-Israeli during an attempted arrest Saturday, threatening to inflame Palestinian anger as the top EU diplomat pushed for progress on the political front.
The dawn killing in Kfar Kana in northern Israel comes against a backdrop of soaring Israeli-Palestinian tensions in annexed east Jerusalem where there have been near-daily clashes in flashpoint neighbourhoods.
The 22-year-old intervened in the arrest of one of his relatives, threatening the officers with a knife, according to a police statement.
After firing warning shots, the police shot him and he died on the way to hospital, it said.
Dozens of angry youths later erected barricades and set fire to tyres on the outskirts of the village as police deployed reinforcements.
Arab Israelis, who account for about 20 per cent of Israel’s population, are the descendents of Palestinian Arabs who remained on their land when the Jewish state was established in 1948.
The shooting came after another night of clashes in east Jerusalem pitting youths throwing stones and firecrackers against police who used rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.
The violence was particularly intense at the Shuafat refugee camp, a maze of alleys crammed with Palestinian homes along the separation barrier cutting off east Jerusalem from the occupied West Bank.
The spike in violence came after one of the camp’s residents ploughed a car into pedestrians in Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing a policeman and injuring nine other people before he was shot dead.
On Friday, a young Israeli also died of injuries sustained in the attack – the second of its kind in a fortnight.
Community officials say the wave of unrest is fuelled by a sense of hopelessness in east Jerusalem because of Israeli policies.