Israel Defense Prize Laureate Succumbs to Wounds After Suffering Injuries in Acre Riots

Avi Har-Even, who was the former director of the Israel Space Agency, was critically injured last month after the hotel he was staying at in Acre was set on fire by Arab rioters

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
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Avi Har-Even, in 2005.
Avi Har-Even, in 2005.Credit: Eyal Toueg
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

Israel Defense Prize laureate Avi Har-Even succumbed to his wounds on Sunday after being critically injured in the violent riots that erupted last month in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Acre amid Israel's latest flare-up with Gaza.

Har-Even, 84, was the former director of the Israel Space Agency. He was critically injured after Israeli Arab rioters set on fire the Efendi hotel he was staying in.

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A 17-year-old man and a 76-year-old woman were also injured in the fire. Israel Police and the Shin Bet security service have arrested suspects for the arson, however the investigation is under gag order.

During these riots, a police station and a well-known restaurant were also set on fire.

The lawbreakers also caused extensive damage to Jewish-owned bed and breakfasts in Acre's Old City, which were built in recent years in historic buildings as part of a bid to revitalize and boost tourism there.

During the latest round of violence between Israel and Hamas in May, violent confrontations erupted between Jews and Arabs in several Arab and mixed cities nationwide. These consisted of shooting, setting synagogues and cars ablaze, throwing stones, shooting firebombs and a number of acts of mob violence in Acre, Jaffa, Bat Yam and other mixed Jewish-Arab cities in Israel.

Last month, Yigal Yehoshua, a 56-year-old resident of Lod who was hit by stones thrown by Arab rioters in the city, died of his wounds in Shamir Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

Yehoshua's car was pelted by stones during riots that broke out after the death of Moussa Hassouna, a Lod resident who was shot during clashes between Arabs and Jews on Monday night. He was brought to the hospital in serious condition, and on Monday was declared dead after being declared brain dead.

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