Heads of municipalities and local councils in the Israeli-Arab community strongly condemned the terror attack at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, in which four people were killed and 16 were wounded.
The mayor of Tayibe, an Arab city east of Kfar Saba in the Triangle area in northern Israel inhabited predominantly by Arabs, hosted heads of Arab local councils and Jewish visitors to the city on Thursday, a day after the attacks.
“Despite the difficult days, we need to face these hard times and win,” said Tayibe Mayor Sha’a Mansour Massarwa. “We condemn every act of killing innocents from both sides. The [Israeli] occupation must end so that peace will exist and we can live in peace.”
Massarwa said he was calling “to all sane people in the country and telling them that it is important for us to win against radicals and conquer hate in order to continue our lives in the best manner possible and without violence.”
Tayibe, said the mayor, according to the Hebrew language Ynet news website, will always be open to Jews and Arabs. “We respect the other, and any visitor, Jew or Arab, will feel at home,” he said.
Muhammad Gebara, a resident of the city and vice principal of an elementary school there, said that a group of Jews visited at the same time the attack was taking place.
“The attack did not have a negative effect on the visit, and we continued as planned. Terror attacks will not destroy this. We all want to live together with the Jews and continue these amazing visits,” Gebara said of the visitors, who came to the town as tourists.
Na’il Zoabi, an activist for coexistence and a principal of a school in Tamra, an Arab city in the lower Galilee, said he was shocked to learn of the attack. “I wondered whether there could be anything crueler – to murder people for nothing. This attack must be condemned, but words are not enough, actions are needed. It is our duty, as citizens of Israel, to prevent the next attack. Harming civilians is a red line that should never be crossed. I send my condolences to the families of those murdered, may God give them strength, and wish a fast recovery for the wounded.”
“My hope is that the entire Arab leadership will rise and condemn this attack strongly, I can only hope we will see no more such attacks,” Zoabi said.
The Palestinian Authority on Thursday fell short of condemning the attack, expressing a general rejection of violence against civilians, without directly mentioning the incident
“The presidency has repeatedly rejected all operations against civilians from any party, no matter the justification,” read a statement from Abbas’s office provided to The Times of Israel.
Palestinian terror group Hamas praised the attack.