Four murdered in Arab Israeli town, including mayoral candidate, as gun violence spins out of control

Netanyahu calls for Israel Security Agency, the Shin Bet, to get involved in curbing the violence.

By World Israel News Staff

A upswing in violent crime in Arab communities reached alarming levels this week when four men, including a mayoral candidate, were fatally shot in the northern Arab Israeli town of Abu Snan on Tuesday.

The incident follows the assassination of Tira’s municipal director the previous day.

In response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized the need to engage the Shin Bet security agency in curbing violent crime in Arab territories. The prime minister described the murder of Tira’s general director, Abed Rahman Kashua, a day earlier, as “crossing a line.”

An official statement from his office declared that a ministerial committee focusing on addressing crime within the Arab community would meet the following day.

“We must use all available resources, including the Shin Bet and police, to combat this rampant crime,” the prime minister said.

President Isaac Herzog expressed deep concern, noting that the Arab community in Israel now lives in constant dread. “Every murder brings unimaginable pain to the families, and it’s essential for the state to act decisively against such violence,” Herzog stated.

The victims of the Abu Snan massacre were found in a field, where they were pronounced dead by the Magen David Adom ambulance service. One of them was identified as Ghazi Sa’ab, a hopeful in the upcoming mayoral elections. The others, related to Sa’ab, were named as Zahir al-Din Sa’ab, Amir Sa’ab, and Salman Halbi from Yarca.

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The shooting marked one of the year’s most fatal criminal attacks. It was preceded by a separate incident two months ago, where five individuals were shot at a carwash in Yafa an-Naseriyye.

Since the beginning of the year, 156 Arab Israelis have been killed, primarily in shootings, marking a dramatic increase from last year, when 68 deaths were reported.