Israeli policemen take cover during clashes that erupted in the southern city of Rahat following of the funeral of Sami Ziadna, 43, in the southern Bedouin city on January 19, 2015. AFP PHOTO/MENAHEM KAHANA
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Israel's large Arab minority closed shops and schools from the northern Galilee to the southern Negev desert Tuesday as part of a day-long strike to protest against the death of two Arab men in incidents involving Israeli police.Locals said Zayadna died of gas inhalation and hailed him as a "martyr". Police said he had a heart attack. Tensions between Israel's police and the Arab community, which at 1.7 million people accounts for 20 percent of the population, have surged since a 22-year-old Arab man was shot dead in the Galilee last November moments after banging on the window of a police vehicle. Since the deaths, police have pulled out of Rahat.Despite that, poverty rates and joblessness among the Arab population are far higher than the Israeli average.
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