Deputy mayor of Umm al-Fahm assaulted at home, lightly hurt

Local man, 62, and two sons suspected of attack; northern Arab city decries attack on Zaki Agbaria as ‘unacceptable crossing of a red line’

The deputy mayor of Umm al-Fahm, Zaki Agbaria, in an undated photo. (Courtesy)
The deputy mayor of Umm al-Fahm, Zaki Agbaria, in an undated photo. (Courtesy)

The deputy mayor of the northern Arab city of Umm al-Fahm was assaulted at his home on Saturday by unknown assailants.

According to police, three attackers — a 62-year-old  resident of the city and his two sons, both in their 30s — arrived at Zaki Agbaria’s home and assailed him with sticks.

Agbaria, also the city’s engineer, was lightly hurt in the incident but did not require medical treatment.

His four sons — in their 20s — managed to fight off the assailants, but were also hurt in the process. They were taken to the Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera for treatment

Police said the attack was related to the dissatisfaction of the assailants with an unspecified municipality decision Agbaria had made.

The suspect and one of his sons were arrested, police said, adding that the second son would be arrested at a later time.

File: Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

In a Facebook post, the Umm al-Fahm municipality said it considered the alleged assault a “completely unacceptable crossing of a red line, which does not represent the residents of the city.”

“The municipality will not stand idly by following this cowardly attack and will enforce the law with those who attack elected officials,” it added.

Police opened an investigation into the matter, but provided no immediate details on the case.

No suspects were immediately arrested.

Arab communities have seen a surge in violence in recent years. Many blame the police, who they say 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.

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