An imam was shot dead early Tuesday morning as he left the al-Tawhid mosque in the northern Arab Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm.
A gunman shot Sheikh Mohammad Sa’adeh, 45, in the upper body. Magen David Adom paramedics declared him dead at the scene.
Police said they opened an investigation into the incident.
The Hebrew-language Ynet website said a relative of Sa’adeh was murdered a year ago and a brother of that victim was seriously injured two weeks ago in a shooting.
A member of Sa’adeh’s family told Ynet that they were in shock.
“We don’t know who is behind this murder and what the reason is. What have we come to? The shooters have no boundaries, they even shoot at mosques. These days were are all in mortal danger.”
מוחמד סעאדה בן 45 אימאם מסגד אלתוחיד באום אלפחם נורה הבוקר למוות על ידי אלמונים סמוך למסגד בשכונת אלמידאן בעיר.הרקע טרם ברור והמשטרה פתחה בחקירת חשד לרצח pic.twitter.com/6TeIUsLZMH
— sami abed alhamed (@samiaah10) April 3, 2018
According to the report, in the last six weeks there have been at least three other shootings in the town that caused moderate to serious injuries.
Two days ago a shooting in the Arab Israeli town of Nazareth injured two people, one seriously. On Saturday a man was moderately injured after being shot in the Arab Israeli town of Tirah.
Flooded with illegal weapons, Arab Israeli cities are hotbeds of crime, in a trend that Arab lawmakers say the Israel Police is reluctant to combat. In 2015, 59 percent of murders in Israel took place in the Arab community, even though Arabs are only 20% of the population.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.