Story highlights

Israeli police say they shot a Palestinian man who threatened them with a knife

Local officials say the man only knocked on the window and was shot point blank

CCTV footage appears to show the confrontation playing out in just over a minute

Clashes have broken out in recent days between Palestinian youths and Israeli police

Jerusalem CNN  — 

Israeli police shot and killed a Palestinian man who attacked police officers with a knife in a village in northern Israel early Saturday, an Israeli police spokeswoman said, amid simmering tensions in the region.

Police had gone to arrest a man suspected of throwing a Molotov cocktail in Kafr Kana when they were attacked by the 22-year-old Palestinian man carrying a knife, spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement.

The officers fired in the air “but after facing undeterred danger, the police fired at young man,” the statement said. He later died of his injuries in the hospital.

Local officials gave a conflicting version of events, however. And a locally circulated flier denouncing the killing, which named the man as Khair Hamdan, suggested his crime was being an Arab.

A mobile phone recording of CCTV footage obtained by CNN appears to show a young man running toward a vehicle, causing it to stop. He then appears to hit one of the front windows three times with his right hand but it’s unclear if he is holding anything. When the door behind starts to open he lunges toward that too, causing it to close again.

The young man then backs away and a man armed with a handgun gets out of the vehicle and appears to fire at the attacker as he turns away. The young man falls to the ground.

More men get out and the attacker is pulled along the ground and lifted into the vehicle, which then drives away. The entire scene plays out in little over a minute.

Village official: ‘Racist’ act

Samri said the incident was being investigated and that extra police officers would be sent to the area.

About 50 young men gathered and burned tires on Saturday morning at another entrance to Kafr Kana, she said, but they were dispersed by police and the situation calmed down.

Mujahed Awawdeh, head of the Kafr Kana local council, told CNN that Hamdan had approached the police vehicle and started knocking on the passenger side window after another resident of the village was arrested shortly after midnight.

“Moments later you can see in the video the police exited the vehicle and shot the man point blank in cold blood,” he said, describing it as a “racist” act against an Israeli Arab.

Nahi Said, a member of the local council, said the video did not show a knife and accused the police of “flexing their muscles on a community that is not armed.” He said the arrested man was Hamdan’s cousin.

Kafr Kana’s central council committee said a demonstration would be held Saturday afternoon to show people’s anger at Hamdan’s killing by Israeli police.

Contested holy site

The incident comes amid heightened tensions which erupted into clashes Friday between stone-throwing Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces in East Jerusalem. Palestinian medics said at least 30 youths were injured.

Earlier in the week, there were two hit-and-run attacks by drivers in Jerusalem, one against three soldiers and the other against pedestrians at a rail station in eastern Jerusalem.

A second person who was hit at the train station died Friday. Another 12 people were injured and an Israeli border police officer died in the attack Wednesday. The driver of the van involved was shot to death by police.

The violence comes against a backdrop of days of unrest over the Temple Mount, or Haram al-Sharif.

Israeli police on Wednesday clashed with Palestinian youths at the holy site, leaving more than 15 people injured, according to paramedics with the Red Crescent.

It was just the latest round of unrest there since activist Rabbi Yehuda Glick was shot and gravely wounded on October 29 after championing more Jewish rights at the site, where Jews can now gather but not pray. Israeli police shot and killed a suspect in Glick’s shooting.

CNN’s Kareem Khadder reported from Jerusalem and Laura Smith-Spark wrote in London.