Arab Israeli killed during clashes with police

An Israeli policeman stands outside a police station in the Arab city of Kfar Qassem in central Israel after a man was killed during clashes as protesters attempted to storm the station overnight on June 6, 2017 (AFP Photo/AHMAD GHARABLI) (AFP)

Jerusalem (AFP) - A young Arab Israeli man was killed during clashes in central Israel after protesters attempted to storm a police station, police said Tuesday.

The death late Monday in the Arab city of Kafr Qassem followed the arrest of a wanted man in a roadside inspection, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Residents tried to prevent the arrest by throwing stones at police but forces managed to take the suspect to a station.

During the night, rioting erupted, Rosenfeld said in a statement.

"Masked residents attacked the local police station and as a result of a life-threatening situation, a private security guard fired shots.

"A short while after, a local resident (taken) to hospital in serious condition died."

The man was identified as Mohammed Taha, 21.

Taha's father Mahmud alleged his son was killed in "cold blood" and argued that he had been part of a peaceful march.

"He was hit by three bullets to the head," he told AFP. "If he was posing a danger, it was possible to shoot him in the legs without killing him."

Adel Budeir, a lawyer who said he was at the scene, also alleged Taha was murdered.

"I tried to approach the police post and I said to the youths to let me through," he said.

"When I was a few metres from the police post, a guard opened a backdoor, fired and closed the door again. Mohammed Taha was not posing a danger at that time. It was the guard who was a danger."

Ayman Odeh, head of the predominately Arab Joint List alliance in the Israeli parliament, alleged: "The police would have never killed a Jewish protester."

Arab Israeli officials also called for a general strike and protests later in the week over the incident.

Kafr Qassem is home to around 20,000 residents, most of them Arabs, and is close to the so-called Green Line separating Israel from the occupied West Bank.

In 1956, Israeli forces killed 47 people while enforcing a curfew in the area. In 2014, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin described that event as a "terrible crime".

Arab Israelis are descendants of Palestinians who remained on their land after the 1948 creation of Israel. They have full Israeli citizenship but have long complained of discrimination.