Hundreds demonstrated in Jaffa on Thursday night, August 3, following the violent arrest of the brother of Mahdi al-Saadi, a man shot dead by police on the previous Saturday.
Thursday night’s protest was the latest in a series of repeated bouts of unrest since the week-end shooting which, relatives say, was a case of mistaken identity. Police arrested two persons suspected of participating in the protest on Thursday night and dispersed the demonstration.
In the early hours of Saturday, July 29, police reportedly opened fire at al-Saadi and other men suspected of being involved in an earlier, gang-related shooting at the Port of Jaffa. According to eyewitnesses, the men shot back at police and then attempted to flee the scene on motorbikes. Two of those who attempted to escape were wounded by police fire and were apprehended and taken to hospital, where one of them, Mahdi al-Saadi, 22, died. The other man wounded by police was reported to be moderately injured. The death and wounding provoked Saturday protests by Jaffa residents, and Israel police then arrested three people accused of “disrupting public order.”
Communist MK Dov Hanin (Hadash – Joint List) contacted Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit during the night between last Saturday and Sunday, and asked that the AG investigate the fatal shooting by police of a Jaffa resident while the latter was allegedly fleeing the scene of a shooting at the city’s port. “There is a worrying feeling that, when it comes to Arabs, the police are trigger happy,” Khenin said.