Arab Israeli Shot to Death in North, Marking 25th Fatality of 2019

Community leaders organize a demonstration in front of the Tel Aviv police headquarters to urge for greater action against gun violence, turnout underwhelming

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Protesters outside the Tel Aviv police headquarters, May 29, 2019.
Protesters outside the Tel Aviv police headquarters, May 29, 2019.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

A 25-year-old Arab Israeli man was shot to death Wednesday overnight near his home in the northern Israeli town of Arara, becoming the 25th fatal victim of violence among the country's Arab community this year.

The man, Amid al-Jesh, was shot at about 1 A.M. He was taken in critical condition to Hillel Yaffeh Medical Center in Hadera, where he was pronounced dead.

Amid al-Jesh.

>> Read more: Street crime isn't an internal matter for Israel's Arab community | Editorial ■ A police force of and for all citizens | Opinion

A demonstration organized by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee was held Wednesday outside the Tel Aviv police headquarters, where protesters called for greater action to address violence in the Arab Israeli society.

About a hundred people attended a protest. The monitoring committee expressed disappointment with the low turnout. Sheikh Kamal Rian, the founder of the Aman Center, which combats violence in Arab society, said that the low attendance "is a blunder of deadly indifference that grasps our public."

Representatives from all of the Arab parties and political movements participated in the protest, including members of Knesset and a few heads of local councils. Rian, a former head of the Kafr Bara Regional Council whose son was murdered, discussed the underwhelming participation: "It testifies to the crisis of faith in leadership." He rejected the claim that Ramadan fasting was to blame for the attendance.

Police forces at the scene of the fatal shooting of Amid al-Jesh in Tamra, northern Israel, May 29, 2019.Credit: Israel Police Spokeswoman

Last week about 500 people rallied in front of the police station in the northern Arab town of Shfaram to protest alleged police inaction in dealing with crime in Arab communities.

In the northern Arab town of Tamra, a general strike was held last week in protest over the murder of local resident Wissam Jawdat Yassin, as well as other shooting incidents there that residents say occur on a daily basis.

About two weeks ago, demonstrators set up a protest tent opposite the northern district headquarters of the Israel Police in Nazareth following the murder of musician Tawfik Zaher, who was shot while walking on a street in the city with his granddaughter. Several days later, an 18-year-old bystander from Kafr Kara was shot and wounded in the head.

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