About 15,000 protesters congregated in the town of ‘Ar’ara to protest the recent wave of home demolitions by the state. In previous weeks, the state demolished 11 homes in the town of Qalanswa as well as many more in the southern town of Umm al-Hiran, slated to be completely demolished for a new Jewish-only settlement to be built in its stead. During the pre dawn raid in Umm al-Hiran, police shot and killed Ya’qub Abu al-Qi’an, claiming he was a “terrorist” who rammed into policemen and killed one of them. However, both footage and autopsy results indicate that the police fired at him, incapacitating him and in fact causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle, then refusing to treat his extensive injuries. In spite of the mounting evidence, the police still refuses to release his body for burial, forcing al-Qi’an family to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Protesters in ‘Ara’ara marched throughout the town and towards the main intersection, where police had been waiting for them. The riot police then fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at protesters, injuring several of them and arresting others. Police also used the “skunk” truck, a vehicle that sprays putrid fluids, the smell of which sticks to the skin, clothing and the environment for many days.
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