Ex-politician shot dead in Baqa al-Gharbiya, capping off bloody weekend

Victim identified as former city council member Said Ahmed Qadan, 63, a day after five others from Israel’s Arab community were killed in four separate shooting incidents

Illustrative: A police car at the scene of a crime. (lunopark / Shutterstock.com)
Illustrative: A police car at the scene of a crime. (lunopark / Shutterstock.com)

A former city council member was shot dead in the northern town of Baqa al-Gharbiya on Sunday evening, according to police and Hebrew media reports, capping off a particularly deadly weekend for Israel’s Arab community.

Police said that a man was critically wounded by gunfire while inside his car in the city, and that they were opening an investigation into the incident.

He was later declared dead at the scene, according to Magen David Adom medics.

The man was identified in Hebrew media outlets as Said Ahmed Qadan, 63, a former member of the Baqa’s municipal council.

His death marked the sixth violent killing in Israel’s Arab community within just 24 hours.

On Saturday evening, five members of the Arab Israeli community were shot dead in four different incidents in Arad, Yarka, Maghar and also in Baqa al-Gharbiya, where a man was shot dead not far from the site where Qadan was killed on Sunday.

According to the Abraham Initiatives, the killing of Qadan marks the 38th violent death among Arab Israelis since the start of 2024, compared to 30 in the same period in 2023 — which was the bloodiest ever year in the community on record.

Most homicides among Arabs in 2023 were the result of criminal gang violence, according to the organization.

The increase in homicides, particularly in northern Israel, was attributed to power struggles among gangs that were hobbled by aggressive policing following two wide-ranging plans implemented by the last government under then-prime minister Naftali Bennett, which gave NIS 2.4 billion ($670 million) to police forces in Arab localities, and NIS 30 billion ($8.4 billion) to Arab community development.

However, the Abraham Initiatives said that both plans were effectively hollowed by the current government. The communities have also suffered from years of neglect by state authorities.

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