Security guard for mayor of central Arab-Israeli town shot dead outside official’s home

Member of security detail for Taibe Mayor Shuaa Masarwa Mansour killed by gunmen; police search for suspects

Illustrative: A police car at the scene of a crime. (Israel Police)
Illustrative: A police car at the scene of a crime. (Israel Police)

A security guard for the mayor of the central Arab Israeli town of Taibe died of his wounds early Friday after being shot by gunmen outside the mayor’s home late Thursday.

The 25-year-old, from the Galilee town of Maghar, was seriously wounded in the shooting and taken to the Meir Medical Center in nearby Kfar Saba, where he later died.

Police launched an investigation into the killing, which brings the number of people in Arab communities to have died in violent incidents since the start of the year to 55, according to the anti-violence campaign group The Abraham Initiatives. The watchdog said 51 of them were killed by gunfire.

Police said they are looking for suspects in the murder and also checking whether the guard, whose name has not been disclosed, was the intended target of the killing.

Witnesses cited by Ynet said two suspects showed up outside the home of Taibe Mayor Shuaa Masarwa Mansour and called the guard’s name. He emerged from inside the house, after which the suspects opened fire, according to the witnesses, and nabbed his weapon before fleeing the scene.

A police spokesperson told Ynet the fatal shooting was a “grave event.” The spokesperson said police central district commanders are in contact with the mayor about the ongoing investigation.

File: Taibe Mayor Shuaa Masarwa Mansour at the Knesset, on November 30, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Gunmen had also opened fire on Mansour’s home in Taibe two months ago, causing no injuries. Police have yet to make arrests in that incident, Ynet reported.

Separately, overnight Thursday-Friday, a 20-year-old man from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat was shot dead in what police called a “violent incident” tied to criminal events. The young man, Ahmed Bashir, was critically injured, and was transferred to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem for treatment, where he later died of his wounds.

Arab communities have suffered a wave of deadly violence in recent years. Many blame the police, who they claim have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars, and violence against women.

In a particularly shocking incident on Saturday, a 14-year-old was shot dead in the southern town of Rahat. According to police, he was shot during a fight. Reports said that in addition, a 17-year-old was light to moderately injured and hospitalized for treatment.

Earlier this week, a man in his forties was shot dead at a gas station near the entrance to Kibbutz Yifat in the north of the country, in what police described as a dispute between criminals.

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