Shots were fired on Friday, December 13, at the home of the mayor of Sakhnin, an Arab city in the Galilee, Dr. Safuat Abu Riya, and his car was torched.
At the time of the attack, Abu Riya (a member of Hadash) was abroad. While fortunately no casualties were reported, in addition to his burned vehicle there was property damage to his home. Police have arrested two suspects, aged 22 and 23, residents of the city.
Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) reacted to the incident writing, “After the anti-crime protests, we made significant progress towards a systemic program to combat violence, but it was once again rejected because of the new round of elections.” Odeh opined “This reality is a result of a government that prefers to protect the future of the criminal standing at its head rather than shield citizens from crime organizations.”
On Saturday, December 14, 27-year-old Juhar Abu Jabbar from the Arab city of Kufr Qassim in the center of the country was shot to death. Police are searching for a masked suspect who fled the scene of the shooting.
Recent months have witnessed an increased wave of killings and other crime in the Arab communities throughout Israel. More than 91 Arab citizens have been murdered since the beginning of 2019, nearly as many as in the past two years combined. Arabs, who are 20% of the general population, constitute more than half of all murder victims nationwide this year.
Hadash and Communist Party of Israel leaders in Sakhnin said police largely ignore the violence in their city and other communities, everything from family feuds and mafia turf wars to domestic violence and so-called honor killings. Earlier this fall, large numbers of Arabs in Israel participated in protests against violence in their communities, calling on authorities to take greater action to stop the phenomenon.