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24 Arab Israelis in court for rioting after shooting

Jerusalem, Nov 10 (AFP) Twenty-four Arab Israelis, 10 of them minors, appeared in court today on charges of rioting in Arab areas of northern Israel after police shot dead a young man.

Police said all of them had been arrested yesterday and were in court for a hearing to decide whether their custody should be extended.

They are suspected of stone-throwing and other public order offences during demonstrations which have rocked the northern town of Kfar Kana, near Nazareth, since the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old resident early on Saturday.

Kheir Hamdan was shot dead after he attacked a police vehicle as officers tried to arrest a relative. Police say the officers fired warning shots before aiming directly at him when their lives were threatened.

But relatives say Hamdan was killed “in cold blood”, with CCTV images apparently contradicting the official version. His death set off two days of widespread rioting across Arab towns and villages in Israel.

Police said youths hurled stones at an Israeli car overnight near Taibe, part of a concentration of Arab towns and villages northeast of Tel Aviv, known as the Triangle, which lies close to the border with the West Bank.

The driver was rescued by a local resident who dragged him to safety, but his car went up in flames, police said. In a separate incident near Fureidis, close to the northern port city of Haifa, a homemade pipe bomb was thrown at police, but did not detonate, police said. An investigation was under way.

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