Israeli Police Arrests Suspect in Murder of Arab Teen Anti-violence Activist

The four suspects initially arrested in the victim's neighborhood were all released

Adel Khatib's mother grieves at the funeral, December 6, 2019.
Rami Shllush

A 40 year-old Palestinian who was staying in Israel illegally was arrested Monday on suspicion of having murdered Adel Khatib, 17, last month in the Arab city of Shfaram.

The Nazareth District Court extended his remand until Sunday and issued a gag order on the investigation.

Khatib’s body was found in December in an open area near a school in Shefamer, a day after he had been reported missing.

Adel Khatib.
Israel Police Spokesperson

Four suspects from Adel’s neighborhood were initially arrested in connection with the murder. All four were released last week following a "dramatic development in the investigation," according to the police.

Sa’id Khatib, who is the coordinator of an anti-violence program in Shfaram, said Khatib "was a member of a group of teenagers who started a workshop and talked about the need to uproot violence. He took part more than once in projects about tolerance and brotherhood and the fight against violence and in the end, he was murdered so cruelly.”

Six people were murdered in Shefamer in 2019. Some 88 Arab citizens of Israel were murdered in 2019. Only 27 of those cases were solved by the police.