Israel’s Arab Community Sees Four Murders Within a Day

Man and woman shot at wedding Saturday, day after two men killed in separate incidents, bringing murders in Arab community in 2019 to 63

Police respond to a shooting in Basmat Tab'un on September 20, 2019.

Four Israeli Arabs were shot dead in three incidents over the weekend in northern Israel. A man and a woman — Ibrahim Kamal Sa’adi, 45, and Bian Dalayka, 20, respectively, were shot late Friday night at a wedding in Basmat Tab'un, a Bedouin town southeast of Haifa. Two additional people were wounded in the incident, one seriously and one moderately.

Residents said the shooting was preceded by a brawl that broke out during the wedding. A few people said the dispute was over the fact that alcohol was served at the wedding, which was held near the town’s mosque. One man said the brawl was a continuation of a dispute between two men from different families that attended the event. He said Dalayka was shot when she tried to flee with her infant daughter.

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On Friday two men were shot dead in the Wadi Ara area. Adib Dirawi, 38, was shot while driving near the entrance of Kfar Yasif, where he lived.

Passersby told Haaretz that a few people had waited for Dirawi at the main square in the village and fired at him from close range when he slowed his car to enter. Villagers said Dirawi sold cars; one man said Dirawi had escaped a number of attempts to shoot him in the past.

Dirawi’s murder came some three hours after the police reported that the body of a man was found in a car in Musmus, with gunshot wounds. He was identified as Iyad Hamza Badir, 35, of Umm al-Fahm. A gag order was imposed on details of the investigation of both of Friday’s murders.

In the year to date, 63 Arab citizens of Israel have been murdered: 52 men and 11 women. According to figures issued by the Aman Center – The Arab Center for a Safe Society, in 2018 75 Arabs were murdered, 61 men and 14 women. Similar numbers were reported for the three previous years.

“There isn’t a day of peace in [Israeli] Arab society, and once more we see the painful results of crime and violence,” the Abraham Initiatives organization said in a statement. Abraham Initiatives describes itself as a shared society organization that models solutions to enact equal and positive Jewish-Arab relations in Israel.

“The first thing that must be on the agenda of the next government’s agenda is forming an interministerial team that will address all aspects of the problem and eliminate it. Only a combined effort that includes collecting guns, establishing additional police stations and egalitarian policing services, together with providing solutions to social problems, can change the trajectory.”