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Hundreds protest in Ramla over police killing of Palestinian with Israeli citizenship

Aug. 17, 2016 9:54 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 18, 2016 2:14 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Scores of protesters reportedly demonstrated in front of a police station in the central Israeli town of Ramla on Wednesday to denounce the killing of a Palestinian-Israeli resident by Israeli forces three weeks prior.

According to Israeli news website Walla, more than 300 people came out to denounce the death of Jibril Jawarish, an 18-year-old Palestinian citizen of Israel who was shot and killed by police officers during a reported drug-busting operation in Tel Aviv on July 28.

“I stand by the Jawarish family in making a furious statement against Jibril’s execution,” Ahmad Tibi, a Knesset member from the Arab Joint List, told Walla at the protest.

Tibi added that if Jawarish had not been Palestinian, the Israeli justice system would have sued the police officer who shot him and held a civil trial.

Palestinians with Israeli citizenship have long complained of discriminatory treatment at the hands of police forces amounting to racial profiling.

Knesset Join List members had previously called out the disproportionate lack of policing in Palestinian-majority neighborhoods compared to Jewish-majority neighborhoods in Israel.

MK Yousef Jabareen of the Joint List warned in April against a rise in policing of Palestinian communities in the form of punitive action such as housing demolitions, rather than protecting Palestinian citizens of Israel from criminal violence.

“It is important that the police adopt a new policy and attitude towards the Arab community,” he told Ma’an at the time. “Without this, the mere establishment of additional police stations and an increase in policing may result in increased tension and confrontation between our community and the police, rather than effective policing of crime and violence.”

MK Basel Ghattas, also of the Joint List, echoed the issue of mutual mistrust between Israeli police and Palestinian-majority towns in the face of rising violence in May. “Police view the Arab as an enemy, and we view the police as a hostile entity, and this affects everything,” he said.
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