1,000 protesters gather in Umm al-Fahm, Qalansawe after fatal double shooting

More than a thousand people gathered on Friday in the city of Umm al-Fahm and in downtown Qalansawe where two men were shot dead in the early hours of the morning.

The demonstrations came a day after about 2,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, calling for an end to violence in Arab communities.

The protest in Umm al-Fahm marked the tenth week that protesters have gathered to protest against violence in the Arab community and what they are complaining about is that the police are not and the government addressing the issue.

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In the week since the last protest, in addition to the two killed in Qalansawe, a man was killed Sunday near his home in a shooting in the Arab town of Tira.

Protesters in Umm al-Fahm were carrying posters highlighting the killing of teenager Muhammad Abdelrazek Ades last week in a shooting in the city of Jaljulia in which another boy was seriously injured.

Protester holds statue of Muhammad Abdelrazek Ades at Tel Aviv protest against crime and violence in Arab communities, 13 March 2021 (Flash90)

Cops stormed streets around the city’s police station to prevent protesters from getting close.

A second rally was held in Qalansawe where two men were shot and killed in the city center in the early hours of Friday. Two others were also injured in the incident – one was in a moderate condition and the other was considered a minor injury and was released from the hospital.

Muhammad Khatib (R) and Leith Nasra (L), both of whom were killed in Qalansawe on 19 March 2021. (By permission)

The victims were identified as Leith Nasra, 19, and Muhammad Khatib, the nephew of a 20-year-old Qalansawe city chief who was killed and seriously injured while sitting in his car earlier. this month. However, public broadcaster Kan said the two shooting incidents were not believed to be linked.

Public broadcaster Kan said the victims knew the police and an initial investigation found that the shooting was part of a dispute between criminals. Police have opened an investigation.

One of the protesters in Qalansawe, who only identified himself as Abed, told the Walla news site that the town had been on the edge since he was killed, and that many blamed the lack of action. with the police.

“Everything here is rage and nerves now, a shameful and sad day,” he said. “They know where weapons are, but the police don’t want to do the job. Why aren’t the police chasing the killers? There have been so many casualties since the beginning of the year – no matter where a police station is, there is more violence. “

Police are operating in Qalansawe after a fatal shooting that killed Leith Nasra on March 19, 2021. (Screenshot: Ynet)

The 26 Arabs who died violently this year in Israel include 20 Israeli Arab citizens, four Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem and two Palestinians from the West Bank. Three people were killed by police, the nonprofit Abraham Initiatives group said.

Ending the spread of violence and organized crime is a major priority for Arab Israelis and the focus of recent major protests.

In 2020, 96 Arab Israelis were killed, the highest annual tax in people’s memory recently.

More than 90 percent of Israeli shootings last year occurred in Arab communities, according to police. Arab Israelis make up about one-fifth of the country’s population.

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