Thousands protest wave of violence in Israel’s Arab sector

<p>JERUSALEM &mdash; Thousands of Arab citizens of Israel demonstrated Saturday to protest a rising crime wave and what is seen as poor police protection in Israel’s Arab community.</p>
<p>The protest in the Arab town of Tamra in northern Israel came in the wake of the death of a 22-year-old passerby who was killed in a shootout between police and criminals after he walked out of his home.</p>
<p>Protesters held white flags stained with blood and raised banners calling for ending the widespread crime. Many accuse police of failing to contain criminal gangs and other violence.</p>
<p>The protest closed a major highway for several hours before the demonstration ended in the late afternoon, police said.</p>
<p>Thousands of people attended the funeral this week of nursing student Ahmad Hejazi, the 22-year-old killed in the shootout in Tamra. Protests took place in other Arab towns this week as well. </p>
<p>At least 11 Arab citizens have been killed this year.</p>