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Mural painted in Umm al-Fahm honors terrorists who hailed from city

Father of cop murdered by resident of town in 2017 Temple Mount attack demands painting be dealt with; Arab MKs heckled at October 2000 memorial event for being part of coalition

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

A mural recently painted on a wall in the city of Umm al-Fahm honors residents of the town who carried out a terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City in 2017, killing two policemen.

On July 14, 2017, the three Arab Israeli men — Mohammed Ahmed Mafdal Jabrin, Mohammed Hamed Abed Eltif Jabrin and Mohammed Ahmed Mohammed Jabrin — opened fire at policemen Haiel Sitawe, 30, and Kamil Shnaan, 22, at one of the entrances to the Temple Mount, killing them. Other officers at the scene returned fire, killing the three attackers.

The mural depicts the perpetrators of the attack, as well as two other men, one of which was identified as Ahmed Muhammad Mahameed, who attempted to stab a policeman in Jerusalem in 2018 and was shot dead.

Under the men’s faces, the artist wrote, “Tomorrow’s smile will be wider,” quoting what two of the attackers posted to Facebook hours before the killings.

Kamil Shnaan’s father, former Labor MK Shachiv Shnaan, told Kan news that he was outraged to learn of the mural honoring his son’s murderers and had appealed to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to ensure that it was removed.

“It is inconceivable that we lose sovereignty in the country,” he said. “I demand that this wall be eliminated.”

Kan reported that police were probing the matter.

Umm al-Fahm Mayor Samir Mahamid told the network that the mural had been painted on a private home, but “we are checking with our legal adviser how we can act.”

On Thursday, Bennett postponed a planned trip to the town to promote vaccination set for Friday morning. The coalition’s Ra’am party claimed that the decision was due to the anniversary of the October 2000 riots in which 13 Arab Israeli demonstrators were killed in clashes with police at the start of the Second Intifada.

Bennett denied that this was the cause, saying that the visit was canceled due to planned demonstrations and security considerations, and Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas himself subsequently issued a Hebrew statement refuting the claim of his party.

Two Arab members of the coalition were heckled Saturday while attending a memorial event for those killed in the October 2000 events.

Activists at the Nazareth memorial shouted at Iman Khatib-Yasin (Ra’am) and Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi (Meretz) that they should be “ashamed” of being part of the government, while some accused them of being “Zionists,” Channel 12 reported.

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