VIDEO: Footage raises questions over police shooting of knife-wielding man in Arab town

Recording of incident shows man approach police car, appearing to hit it with an object in his hand before apparently being shot.

November 8, 2014 12:49
2 minute read.
kafr kana

Image from video of Kafr Kana incident. (photo credit: screenshot)


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A video posted on Saturday has raised questions about the fatal shooting by police of a 22-year-old Kafr Kana man who they said was trying to attack officers with a knife, and was shot because officers feared for their lives.

WARNING: Video content contains graphic images that may be disturbing to some viewers.

Kafr Kana shootingThe recording of the incident shows a man approach a police van and appears to hit two of its side windows with an object in his hand. The suspect begins walking off and an officer emerges from the car, aiming a gun at the suspect, whose back is to him. The man falls to the ground, apparently shot, and then two other police emerge from the vehicle.

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.

In their initial statement on Saturday morning, the Northern District police said 22-year-old Kheir a-Din Hamdan from Kafr Kana was carrying a knife and tried to attack the officers. They said the officers then fired a warning shot in the air and that “with their lives in danger the officers fired at the suspect.”

In the video no warning shot can be seen and the officers were still inside the vehicle with the doors closed when one of the police decided to exit holding a gun, and then apparently fired.

Hamdan died on Saturday morning in a hospital after succumbing to wounds inflicted by the gunfire.

After the video emerged on Saturday police said they had no further statement at the time, only that the matter is now being investigated by the Justice Ministry’s department for investigating police.

UAL-Ta'al MK Ahmed Tibi condemned police for what he said was the "cold blooded" shooting of Hamdan .

Tibi called for the arrest and immediate trial of the officer who shot the Kafr Kana local.

Kafr Kana declared a general strike on Saturday morning following the death of the young man, Israel Radio reported, and locals have announced plans to hold a protest Saturday afternoon in the village. Posters showing Hamdan’s picture over an image of the Al-Aqsa Mosque also were being passed around on Saturday in the village and elsewhere in the Arab sector.

Earlier in the day, about a hundred youth in the area hurled stones at security forces, police said. Others youth torched tires as patrol vehicles were positioned at the town's entrances in attempt to prevent disturbances, Israel Radio reported.

Police said the shooting incident occurred when they arrived to arrest another person on suspicion of throwing a stun grenade, another man arrived wielding a knife and tried to stab the officers.

Meretz MK Issawi Frej said the killing could be linked to a statement made by Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich last week, who praised Border Patrolmen who killed a terrorist who ran down over a dozen Israelis in Jerusalem and said that those who hurt civilians should face such a fate. Staff contributed to this report.

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