Police patrol car in Tel Aviv (file)
Police patrol car in Tel Aviv (file)Moti Karelitz/Flash 90

Footage showing a Bedouin Israeli man being violently beaten by police in Tel Aviv is raising yet more questions about police brutality.

Arab-Israeli supermarket worker Maysam Abu Alqian, 19, from the southern Bedouin town of Hura, claims the attack was unprovoked, and occurred when an uniformed man asked him for his ID.

When he asked to see his questioner's police ID, the situation quickly escalated, and more than half a dozen police officers reportedly beat and kicked Abu Alqian until he was subdued.

"I've never seen anything like it.(His) teeth were flying through the air. The Arab was torn apart," onlooker Erez Krispin posted on Facebook.

He said the employee of a city-center supermarket was outside the store putting out trash when a man in civilian clothes, who did not identify himself, demanded to see his ID.

Krispin said the worker began to explain that his documents were inside and to ask who the questioner was.

"He barely finished speaking and started to get murderous blows from the man and a friend who was with him," he wrote.

Video posted on several news websites showed two men in civilian dress punching and kicking a third, but their identities were indistinct.

Channel Two quoted the Arab worker's employer, Kobi Cohen, as expressing outrage at the incident. 

"The police acted like a gang and beat him only because he was an Arab," Cohen said.  

A police statement said that details would be passed as a matter of routine to the justice ministry department which inspects allegations against police.

"It emerges from the initial investigation that border police officers identified a young man who they thought suspicious and asked him to identify himself. The suspect refused to identify himself and attacked the policemen, one of whom was bitten," it said.

"The policemen were obliged to use force in order to arrest the suspect, who continued attacking them violently. As a result of the violence of the attack, two policemen were taken to... hospital suffering from bruises and bites."

The shocking incident is just the latest in a string of alleged police brutality. 

A haredi man was similarly beaten recently after questioning a police officer who issued him a ticket over a parking offense.

Last year saw major demonstrations by Ethiopian Israelis over a series of violent arrests by police against members of the community.

AFP contributed to this report.