Arab-Israeli and policeman killed in demolition dispute in Israel

Israeli authorities regularly carry out demolitions of Bedouin homes they consider illegal. But Bedouins say it is nearly impossible to obtain building permits as Israel has long denied them public services.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The international community has constantly criticised Israel for using excessive force. (File photo)

Police said an Arab-Israeli man rammed his car into a group of officers on Wednesday, killing one of them before he was shot dead during clashes in southern Israel over an operation to demolish illegally built homes.

Residents in Umm Heiran, a Bedouin village in Israel's southern Negev Desert, disputed the police narrative. They said the driver was heading to the scene to talk with authorities in an attempt to halt the demolitions.

The policeman was identified as 34-year-old Erez Levi, and the driver as Yacoub Abu al-Qiyan. 

Israeli authorities regularly carry out demolitions of Bedouin homes they consider illegal.

Bedouins, nomadic tribes that have wandered across the Middle East from biblical times, say building permits are nearly impossible to obtain because Jewish Israelis are given preferential treatment.

Israel's settlement policy blocks peace in the region

Israel has built scores of settlements in the West Bank, territory that Palestinians seek for an independent state. This has caused anger and violence in the region. 

The UN and international law considers settlement construction on Palestinian lands illegal.

Since October 2015, 37 Israelis and 233 Palestinians have been killed in violence in Israel, the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. 

On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian man in the Occupied West Bank city of Tulkarm.

The last Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed in 2014.

TRT World's Iolo ap Dafydd has this story of how Israel's settlement policy affects both sides.