Violence erupts in Jaffa at funeral for suspect killed by police

TV journalist beaten, equipment destroyed during procession for young resident suspected of fleeing scene of shooting at city’s port earlier

Police at the scene of a stabbing in Jaffa, July 27, 2017. (Israel Police spokesperson)
Police at the scene of a stabbing in Jaffa, July 27, 2017. (Israel Police spokesperson)

Violence erupted in Jaffa on Saturday night during the funeral of a young resident who was shot and killed by police men while allegedly fleeing the scene of a shooting at the city’s port in the early hours on the morning.

Hundreds attended the funeral procession for the 22-year-old, whose name was under gag order, during which a Channel 2 crime reporter covering the event was beaten and his camera equipment was destroyed as residents blocked the paths of vehicles caught up in the melee.

The Channel 2 reporter, Gilad Shalmor, was taken to hospital with light injuries.

The procession started at the deceased suspect’s home in Jaffa toward a mosque on Yefet street, a main road in the city, where worshipers prayed before making their way to the cemetery for burial.

The procession became a protest for the family of the suspect and residents against Israeli police. Police officers were deployed to the area but maintained a distance, according to reports in the Hebrew-language media.

Earlier in the day, riots broke out in the city as protesters hurled stones and rolled burning tires at police officers over the shooting incident. At least three were detained for questioning, police said.

Police said officers opened fire in the early hours of Saturday at two men who were suspected of being involved in a shooting at the Jaffa port. According to police, the men attempted to flee the scene of the shooting on mopeds.

Channel 10 reported that the suspects shot back at police during the chase. Police said an investigation into the incident has been opened.

The police officer who shot at the suspects said he did so after they refused to stop and that the shots he fired were aimed at the back wheel of the moped.

A lawyer for the suspect’s family told Ynet that there was no reason for the police to have “used live fire since there was no danger to their lives.”

A gag order was placed on the details of the earlier shooting at the port but the background is believed to be criminal.

After the riots on Saturday afternoon, police representatives met with community leaders in Jaffa in an attempt to prevent any further violent clashes.

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