Violent protests erupted in Jaffa on Tuesday evening after hundreds of residents, waving Palestinian flags, took to the streets protesting the killing of an autistic Palestinian man in Jerusalem.
Eyad Hallaq was shot and killed by police in Jerusalem's Old City two weeks ago. The 32-year-old Palestinian with severe autism was chased by Border Police forces into a nook and fatally shot after apparently being mistaken for an attacker.
The protests began peacefully at the Jaffa Clock Tower square but quickly spread and turned violent as demonstrators began lighting fireworks, setting garbage bins on fire and even pelting busses with rocks.
As a result, a Dan city bus was heavily damaged with the vehicle's windows smashed by rocks. The driver was successfully rescued by police forces.
Police forces have been bolstered in the area and a military helicopter was called to the scene.
The protesters also demonstrated against the start of construction work at a site where a two years ago archeologists uncovered an ancient Muslim burial ground.
Israel Police said they have closed down Yefet Street, one of Jaffa's main streets, to traffic.
“Following the protests that took place in Jaffa on Tuesday evening, violations of public order were recorded, which included burning of garbage bins and tires, throwing of stones at vehicles and police officers,” the police said in a statement. “Large police forces are in the area, working to restore order.”
In addition, protests over the killing of Hallaq also took place in Jerusalem. Around 100 protesters demonstrated at Safra Square in the capital and at least six were arrested after trying to block the light rail traffic.