Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered in May a nationwide campaign to recover encroached state-owned lands and the government since then restored control over massive areas of them.
To el-Waraq's middle class and poor residents, however, the sight of bulldozers coming to demolish their homes may have been more than they could bear at a time when they, like most Egyptians, are struggling to cope with soaring prices for food and services, a result of ambitious reforms introduced by el-Sissi's government to revive the country's battered economy. It did not say how the man was killed.
As well as one death, at least 19 residents and 37 police were injured in the clashes before the police were forced to withdraw to avoid further escalation of the situation.
It said residents attacked the police with birdshots guns and rocks. The injured policemen included two generals.
"The [police] force was taken by surprise as attackers gathered and used rubber bullets and stones", it said, adding that ten residents were arrested.
Video clips posted on social media networks showed hundreds of angry islanders, mostly young men, at the man's funeral, marching through farm fields while chanting "We will sacrifice the martyr with our soul and blood".
Sunday's clashes began when police attempted to remove illegal buildings on state land on al-Waraq island on Cairo's northern fringes.
Security forces arrived at al-Warraq on Sunday morning in an attempt to move people ahead of planned demolitions of buildings allegedly built there illegally - but were met with resistance from protesting locals.
One of the Nile's largest islands in Egypt, it is home to almost 200,000 people and is linked to the mainland by six ferries. "It's our land and we are not leaving".
Egypt's military says its jet-fighters have destroyed 15 all-terrain vehicles carrying weapons and explosives along with "criminal elements" after they were detected getting ready to cross the Libyan border into Egypt.
It said Sunday's operation involved about 700 removal orders. It also did not mention Libya by name, making only a thinly veiled reference to the North African nation.