Mixed-gender show in Umm al-Fahm attacked with firebombs
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Mixed-gender show in Umm al-Fahm attacked with firebombs

Police searching for perpetrators; concert had drawn protests from some conservatives in Arab Israeli city

Stone-throwing protesters clash with Israeli security forces (not seen) in the Umm el Fahm on July 5, 2014. (illustrative photo: Omar Samir/FLASH90)
Stone-throwing protesters clash with Israeli security forces (not seen) in the Umm el Fahm on July 5, 2014. (illustrative photo: Omar Samir/FLASH90)

A musical performance by a mixed-gender band in the Arab Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm was targeted by people throwing firebombs, after the show had drawn opposition from conservative religious leaders.

There were no injuries or damage from the attack and the show went ahead as planned, according to reports.

Police said they were searching for suspects who had thrown three firebombs at a municipal cultural hall while a packed house of some 500 people was inside watching the concert, according to the Haaretz daily.

The attackers had arrived and fled on motorbikes, the news outlet reported.

The attack came during a performance by Siraj, a band which has both male and female members and performs classic Arabic songs, including those by legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum.

MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint List), who was at the concert, told Channel 10 news that the show was “one of the most successful in the history of the city.”

View of Umm al-Fahm, June 22, 2017. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/Times of Israel)

“The impressive participation of those who were there was the residents’ answer to attempts by certain parties in the city to have the show canceled,” he said. “The firebombs may not have disturbed the show, but there’s no doubt that this was a serious incident and those responsible need to be brought to justice.”

The show had drawn controversy not only for the makeup of the band, but also the fact that seating was to be mixed, according to Haaretz.

Ahead of the show, a cleric in the city, speaking on behalf of an association of local imams, had issued a statement saying that the event was against Sharia law and Islamic culture.

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