In Rare Move, Shin Bet Joins Probe Into Shooting at Israeli Arab Cop's Home

Police suspect an Arab crime organization is behind the shots fired at the home of Jamal Hakroush, the head of the division for preventing crime in Israel's Arab communities

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Police officers next to Hakroush's home in Kafr Kana, on Friday.
Police officers next to Hakroush's home in Kafr Kana, on Friday. Credit: Gil Eliahu
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

The Shin Bet security service has joined the investigation into the gunshots fired at the Kafr Kana home of the head of the police division for preventing crime in Israel's Arab communities on Friday night.

At the time of the attack, Chief Superintendent Jamal Hakroush was sitting with his wife on the home's balcony. No one was hurt, but the house was damaged by the bullets.

Police believe that the Abu Latif crime organization, one of the largest in Israel and most prominent in the country's north, is behind the shooting. Despite this, a source involved in the investigation said that they are considering the possibility that the attack was politically motivated. Hakroush, the first Muslim chief superintendent in police history, may have been targeted as a way to "harm a regime symbol."

Chief Superintendent Jamal Hakroush in his Kafr Kana home, on Friday.Credit: Gil Eliahu

The Shin Bet's role in the investigation is exceptional; the police usually deal with such events. They were brought in, however, due to suspicions that the crime was ordered by a criminal organization within the Arab community. According to the source, they are also involved because Hakroush is a senior police official. The Shin Bet refused to comment on the matter.

Hakroush told Haaretz after the shooting, "Nothing will deter me. I’ll continue to provide personal security for every citizen of this country; it’s my calling.”

Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev said that the shooting amounts to no less than “a clear declaration of war by crime organizations against Israel’s police, and that is a big mistake on their part.”

Hakroush assumed his post last month. His division was established in order to reduce violent crime in Arab society, from which 80 people have been murdered since the beginning of the year. When asked by Haaretz two weeks ago whether the police had lost control over the Arab street, Hakroush replied: “Definitely not, we haven’t lost our deterrence and we won’t.” However, he admitted, "the outcome is not good."

As reported last month, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Bar-Lev supported the involvement of the Shin Bet in criminal investigations involving firearms in the Arab community, whereas Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman opposed it. When asked about the matter last month, Hakroush said that he did not believe the Shin Bet was the answer.

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