- Title: Bulldozers tear down Bedouin village after suspected car ramming attack
- Date: 18th January 2017
- Summary: UMM AL-HIRAN, ISRAEL (JANUARY 18, 2017) (REUTERS) PEOPLE LOOKING AT VILLAGE VARIOUS OF BULLDOZERS DEMOLISHING HOUSES AT VILLAGE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE NEAR PILES OF DEBRIS HELICOPTER TRUCK TOWING DAMAGED CAR ISRAELI POLICE FORCES POLICE FORCES DEPLOYING PERETZ AMMAR, DEPUTY COMMANDER OF SOUTHERN DISTRICT IN ISRAELI POLICE, TALKING TO REPORTER MEDIA CREWS (SOUNDBITE) (Hebrew) PERETZ AMMAR, DEPUTY COMMANDER OF SOUTHERN DISTRICT IN ISRAELI POLICE, SAYING: "I can say with certainty that a person who gallops with a vehicle towards a group of policemen, his goal is solely to kill them. And whoever kills policemen who perform their jobs as demanded by law, I have no definition for it other than an attack, it's absolutely clear that it's an attack."
- Embargoed: 1st February 2017 12:38
- Keywords: Bedouin violence clashes demolition
- Location: UMM AL-HIRAN, ISRAEL
- City: UMM AL-HIRAN, ISRAEL
- Country: Israel
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0015ZLYMO7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Israeli bulldozers on Wednesday (January 18) completed an operation to demolish homes that a court ruled were built illegally in a Bedouin village in southern Israel, where an Arab Israeli and a police officer were killed earlier in violence that erupted when forces entered the area.
A police spokeswoman said an Arab, a local teacher whom she identified as a member of the Islamic Movement in Israel, deliberately rammed his car into a group of policemen, killing the officer, and was shot dead.
A relative of the alleged assailant said he had not intended to attack police and was killed in cold blood. An Israeli human rights activist who said she witnessed the incident told the YNet news site the driver was not heading towards police when he was shot and lost control of his vehicle after being hit.
The violence took place in the village of Umm al-Hiran, home to several hundred Bedouin whose dwellings were slated for destruction to make way for a new Israeli town.
Israel's Supreme Court ruled in 2015 the village was built illegally on state-owned land and said residents had been offered alternative plots, which they rejected.
Police spokeswoman Merav Lapidot said the driver "surged towards the forces intending to kill" and that riots erupted after he was shot.
Deputy Commander of the southern district in Israel's police, Peretz Ammar, told reporters at the site that "a person who gallops with a vehicle towards a group of policemen, his goal is solely to kill them".
The man's cousin, who gave his name only as Atwa, denied that account. "We asked everyone to take their cars out of the area and the guy just drove his jeep out and the troops fired on him," he told Army Radio. "They killed him in cold blood."
Arab Israeli lawmaker Ayman Odeh, who was wounded when violence erupted in the village, told reporters that it was a "crime" to "keep villages which were here before the state of Israel without electricity, water and education for children".
Bedouin leaders in the southern Negev desert say Israel has long discriminated against their communities, denying them public funds and services. Half of the Bedouin live in towns and villages recognised as formal communities by the government. Others live rough, in tents and shacks on patches of desert.
Arab citizens make up about 20 percent of Israel's population of eight million, and 200,000 of them are Bedouin.
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