Body of missing Arab Israeli teen found; murder suspected
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Body of missing Arab Israeli teen found; murder suspected

Family members say Adel Khatib received a call Wednesday to go to a school in Shfaram before disappearing; 4 suspects detained for questioning

Adel Khatib (Israel Police)
Adel Khatib (Israel Police)

The body of an Arab Israeli teen was found in his hometown Thursday after he was reported missing a day earlier.

Police were treating the death of Adel Khatib, a 17-year-old from the Galilee city of Shfaram, as a suspected murder.

Four suspects (aged 18, 19, 20 and 24) have been detained for questioning, police said. Most details of the investigation are under a gag order.

Khatib was reported missing Wednesday, prompting intensive searches for him. His body was found in an open area near a school in Shfaram, with the Ynet news site reporting there were signs of violence.

Family members told the website that Khatib received a phone call from someone asking he come to the school, before disappearing.

“My heart is torn,” Khatib’s father Ashraf told the site. “We still haven’t digested that we’ve lost him. When he would return home, we would embrace him. This time he left and didn’t return.”

Hundreds of Shfaram residents visited the family’s home Friday to pay their condolences.

The four suspects were brought before the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court later Friday, with the judge ordering they remain in custody until December 12.

Two of the suspects are brothers, Channel 12 news reported, while another is their cousin.

Also Friday, Ibrahim Hasarma of the northern town of Bi’ina died of gunshot wounds sustained two weeks earlier. Hasarma was the 89th Arab Israeli murder victim this year, according to Channel 13 news.

In Ramle, Hundreds demonstrate against violence in Arab Israeli communities on October 15, 2019, (Joint List)

Recent months have seen a wave of killings and crime in the Arab Israeli community. Arab leaders say police largely ignore the violence in their communities, everything from family feuds and mafia turf wars to domestic violence and so-called honor killings.

A number of demonstrations and large rallies have been held to protest what Arab Israelis say is a failure to adequately deal with the wave of criminal violence within the community.

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