Imam Shot and Killed at Entrance to Mosque in Israel

Sheikh Abd al-Jani Sa’ade, 45, was shot as he was leaving prayers in Umm al-Fahm

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The murder scene in Umm al-Fahm early Tuesday morning.
The murder scene in Umm al-Fahm early Tuesday morning.Credit: ללא קרדיט

An imam was murdered at the entrance to a mosque in the northern Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm on Tuesday morning.

Sheikh Abd al-Jani Sa’ade, 45, was shot in his torso and paramedics who were called to the scene at the al-Tawhid Mosque in the Arab city declared him dead. The police are investigating and suspect he was murdered.

The Magen David ambulance service received a report at 5:11 A.M. on Tuesday about a man who had been shot.

The association of imams in Umm al-Fahm as well as other Arab leaders released statements condemning the alleged murder. Every such incident violates the principles of Islam, especially the murder of a believer who had just left a prayer service, and this case has crossed a red line, said the imams.

“The police, who do not spare any efforts to write traffic tickets, need to carry out their obligations and bring those responsible to justice and not to add this case to the other cases in which the murderer was not found. This proves the police do not relate seriously to blood spilled in Arab society,” said the statement.

Sheikh Abd al-Jani Sa’adeCredit: ללא קרדיט

The present case is one of a long list of such incidents in the city over the past few years. In February, an Umm al-Fahm resident was critically injured in a shooting in the city.

Since 2015, the police have received 1,003 reports on shooting incidents in the city. 264 of these incidents took place in 2015, 358 in 2016 and 381 in 2017. These figures were reported in Haaretz in December 2017 after Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan provided the information in an answer to a parliamentary inquiry on the matter from MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint List).

Only six indictments stemming from the shooting incidents have been filed over those three years, out of 521 investigations opened by the police, said Erdan. In 2017, only one such indictment was filed while 184 investigations were opened into shootings.

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