Agence France Presse
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: 1948 Palestinian towns went on strike Wednesday over the killing of a man during clashes in front of a police station that lead to fresh accusations of abuse and discrimination.
Schools, public transport, stores and municipal offices were closed in Nazareth, the largest 1948 Palestinian city in Israel, according to city hall, as well as in other cities in the Galilee region.
1948 Palestinians, descendants of Palestinians who remained on their land after Israel was created in 1948, account for around 18 percent of the 8 million population, but say they are treated as second-class citizens.
Mohammad Taha, 21, was killed by a private security guard late Monday after protesters attempted to storm a police station in the Palestinian city of Kafr Qassem, police said. Taha’s father Mahmoud alleged his son was killed in “cold blood.”
The death prompted an outpouring of anger toward the police, with 1948 Palestinians accusing them of abuse, failing to tackle crime in their neighborhoods and discrimination.
They say seven people have been killed in Kafr Qassem since the start of the year and none of the murderers have been arrested.
“The police’s role is to protect citizens, not to attack them and kill our children in cold blood,” Nazareth City Hall said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Fadi al-Najjar, 25, was killed Tuesday by Israeli fire in the Gaza Strip, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said. An Israeli army spokeswoman told AFP troops on Israel’s side of the frontier fired warning shots as Palestinians hurled rocks and rolled blazing tires at the border fence but she had no knowledge of casualties.