Probe opened into death of Rahat man during clashes with police

21-year-old Sami al-Ajar died of gunshot wound sustained during clash with police.

Israeli Police (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
Israeli Police
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
The Justice Ministry has opened a probe into the death of a man from Rahat who died of a gunshot wound sustained during a clash between locals and police who had arrived in the Beduin city to raid a suspected drug house.
The Justice Ministry said the southern branch of their unit for investigating police will probe the incident in which “it is suspected that during police actions to find drug dealers in Rahat, locals began rioting, during which police were attacked and bullets were fired.”
Negev subdistrict police said Thursday that detectives arrived in the village to raid a suspected drug house, and while they were attempting to arrest two suspects, they were attacked by a group of locals. Police said that a mob began throwing rocks and assaulting police and that the officers began shooting in the air in order to extricate themselves and the two suspects they arrested.
After the police left a local man, named as 21-year-old Sami al-Ajar, was taken to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba in critical condition, where he died of his wounds.
Police said that three officers were also lightly wounded in the melee and were treated at Soroka as well.
On Thursday Southern District Commander Yoram Halevy said he views the attack on police with the utmost severity, and added that the district would reach out to local leaders in the Arab sector in order to try to avoid further tension.
Police added Thursday afternoon that as far as they are concerned it is still unknown who shot al-Ajar.
Also Thursday, four people arrested during the incident, including the two suspected dealers and two others suspected of assaulting police officers, were brought to court for remand extensions.