Unknown armed assailants on Thursday shot and seriously wounded Suleiman Ghebareyyeh, former mayor of Umm Al-Fahm, a major Arab city in central Israel.
Ghebareyyeh was not only the former mayor of an Arab city but a well-known politician and senior leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, which was banned in 2015.
In protest against the shooting, hundreds of protesters, Israeli media reported, rallied in front of the Israeli police station in the city and called for it to carry out its mission in fighting crime.
Former mayor seriously injured amid spate of shootings among Arab Israelis https://t.co/9533uB8urb
— The Times of Israel (@TimesofIsrael) January 7, 2021
The Jerusalem Post reported the protesters raising placards reading “The Police is responsible for the violence and crime” and “Close the police station that isn’t helping in any way”.
Meanwhile, the Joint List MK Yousef Jabareen, an Umm Al-Fahm resident who lives close to the site of the shooting, tweeted:
“No one is immune anymore to the murderous violence and the weapons flooding Arab society. This is an emergency. We’re living in a civil war.”
Sulaiman Ghebareyyeh, an official of the Islamic Movement and former mayor of Umm al-Fahm, is the latest victim of the surging criminality in the #Palestinian land occupied since 1948. He was shot and seriously injured by unknown assailants today. pic.twitter.com/x3CtkNdC17
— Quds News Network (@Qudsn_en) January 7, 2021
At the same time, The Times of Israel reported the current Umm Al-Fahm Mayor Samir Mahameed stating:
“People don’t feel safe. We’re asking two things of the police – to prevent crime and to track down criminals. But they’re not able or willing to do either.”
Joint List Chairman MK Ayman Odeh was reported asserting that “there is no Arab citizen who is not exposed to the fatal threat posed by organized crime. The criminal indifference of the government is what allows them to destroy our society.”
Fatalities among the Arab community in Israel reached 96 in 2020, several sources reported, noting that three Arabs have so far been killed since the start of 2021.
Arabs in Israel protest Israel police's inaction in fight against violence https://t.co/qApJ3jwe0s
— Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) December 22, 2020
Arabs in Israel blamed Israeli police for not carrying out their responsibilities in fighting organized crime in their communities, citing the massive number of illegal weapons owned by the criminals.
Netanyahu, in November, promised in a Knesset session to bring the plan to approval within weeks. However, The Times of Israel indicated that the plan has seemingly been shelved since Israel is heading towards the fourth elections.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)