Police around Israel were ordered on Sunday to operate on its second highest alert level after a 22-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by police Friday night and the ensuing riots in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the Galilee.
Hir Alhamdan, a resident of Kafr Kanna in the Galilee, was killed when he attempted to attack police officers who were on their way to arrest a relative of his.
The alert level was raised by Police Inspector General Yochanan Danino after Arabs called for a general strike on Sunday. Violent incidents, including several rock throwing and firebombing attacks, were already being reported before dawn on Sunday.
Already on Saturday night, Palestinian rioters began the strike, carrying out violent attacks across Israel.
Late Saturday night, a three-year-old Israeli boy was injured when rock throwers attacked the vehicle he was in. According to the IDF, the vehicle was driving on Route 60 near Shilo Junction in Samaria when it was attacked.
Also Saturday night, Palestinian rioters threw rocks at the Shuafat Light Rail station in Jerusalem. At the Taibe Bridge, an 18-year-old driver was arrested when he blocked off the highway by setting fire to tires.
In the A-tur neighborhood in Jerusalem, rioters threw rocks at Israeli security forces. In the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, Palestinians threw fireworks and rocks at police. No damage or injuries were reported. Police had to use crowd dispersal methods to stop the attacks.
At the entrance to the city of Barta’a, located near Haifa, rioters threw rocks and damaged a vehicle. On Highway 5, passengers on a bus were injured after a rock attack caused a car accident along the highway.
Israeli MK’s on the Right stood by the police’s response to Alhamdan’s attack while some on the Left called it murder.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett called Alhamdan “a crazed Arab terrorist” who attempted “to murder the officers inside.”
“The officers’ reaction is what is expected from our security men. This is not murder in cold blood and we certainly should not abandon the people who are sent to defend us,” Bennett stated. “If we do not back them, more and more Israelis will be murdered by knives, firecrackers and vehicular attacks.”
Construction Minister Uri Ariel said that Friday’s attack served as a warning sign. “Whoever believes in containment in Jerusalem will, in the end, have to deal with terrorism in Kafr Kana.”
Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On called for a public investigation into the shooting, calling the incident murder. “The norms of occupation and police assassinations from the territories and Jerusalem threaten Israeli Arabs,” she said.
Arab MK Ahmed Tibi said the incident was “a street-gang-style assassination.”