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Man shot, 4 officers wounded, cop cars burned in clash at wedding in Arab town

Police say officers responded to reports of gunfire at celebration in north; one cop wounded by stone thrown from building; locals say police shot resident

Two police cars are set on fire in the town of Deir al-Asad in northern Israel amid a clash between residents and officers, on June 19, 2021 (Screenshot/Twitter)
Two police cars are set on fire in the town of Deir al-Asad in northern Israel amid a clash between residents and officers, on June 19, 2021 (Screenshot/Twitter)

Violence erupted Saturday in the northern Arab town of Deir al-Asad between police and residents, after officers responded to reports of gunfire during a wedding in the area.

According to the police, shots were fired during the clash, resulting in the serious injury of a 31-year-old resident of the area. According to local testimonies, the 31-year-old was injured by officers’ gunfire.

Four police officers were lightly wounded, among them a 26-year-old hit by a stone thrown from a building.

Police said clashes occurred after officers responded to reports of gunfire during celebrations in the town. Celebratory gunfire is a common phenomenon at weddings in the Arab community.

Two police cars were set alight amid the clash. Police said additional officers continued to work at the scene.

The town of Deir al-Asad is located in the Galilee, near Karmiel.

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev called the events “very serious,” saying “there is no justification for any sort of violence like that seen today.” He said he’d asked the police chief to prepare a quick report on the chain of events and present it to him within 24 hours.

Barlev also praised residents who defended female policewomen “who were attacked” during the unrest.

According to the Ynet news site, Barlev’s response — which ordered an inquiry into the use of live fire by police — angered some police officials, who pointed to the violence directed against the officers during the clash and accused the new police minister of being insufficiently supportive.

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