JERUSALEM – At least one Israeli Arab has been killed in clashes between police and demonstrators in southern Israel during a court-ordered operation to demolish illegally built homes.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says a local man tried to ram his vehicle into forces deployed to the Um al-Hiran village Wednesday. He says the troops opened fire and killed him, and that further clashes ensued.
Local residents say police used excessive force to remove protesters, including live fire. Arab lawmaker Ayman Odeh was wounded in the clashes, along with several others.
Arabs make up a fifth of Israel's population. They enjoy full citizenship but frequently face unfair treatment in areas like jobs and housing.
The Israeli government recently vowed to crack down harder on illegal Arab construction.