Hundreds gathered in Yarka on Wednesday to bury a police volunteer who was killed after a vehicle drove into him in the northern city of Nahariya a day earlier.
Hossam Zaghir, 32, a Druze father of two, had been volunteering since 2016, police said. He and Amir Abu Rish, a police officer, were seeking permits from workers at a construction site in Nahariya when they were hit by the vehicle inside the site. Zaghir was killed, while Abu Rish was injured.
In Yarka, Zaghir was given a police burial, which followed a religious Druze ceremony. It was attended by Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, Minister Hamed Amar who personally knew Zaghir, and Likud MK Fateen Mulla who lives in the town.
“How will I go home and he won’t be there?” Zaghir’s wife Ranin cried out, the Ynet news site reported.
“Dear Hossam, it hurts so much to mourn a young volunteer. You represent the beautiful side of Israeli society,” Shabtai said.
The police commissioner also vowed to prosecute Sah. “I promise you he’s going to pay a heavy price for the heinous act he committed,” he said.
“There are no words, no words that can comfort and fill the void created in your heart, in the hearts of us all,” Public Security Minister Barlev said at the funeral.
Earlier in the day, Barlev visited the wounded officer at Nahariya’s Galilee Medical Center.
“He is a fighter, he is strong, he will recover and he will return. He comes from a family of fighters and nothing will stop him,” Barlev said of Abu Rish.
Druze spiritual leader Sheikh Muafak Tarif said the Druze community and the town of Yarka “lost one of their best.”
“Words of consolation are hard to find, but Hossam’s message of volunteer work continues his legacy. Hossam fell in the battle for internal security, for the welfare of the residents,” Tarif said.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who did not attend the funeral, tweeted Wednesday evening that he sends his condolences to the family, the town of Yarka, and the entire Druze community.
Police said the two-man police team had arrived at the Nahariya site in the morning, after residents complained of noise and work being done during the Sukkot holiday. The work was part of a project to improve flood defenses in the city. The team also began questioning Palestinian workers at the site to check whether they were in the country legally.
The workers called Sah, who entered into a confrontation with the police. He then allegedly entered his car and ran them over. Eyewitnesses told Hebrew media that he then reversed and ran over the two policemen again before fleeing. He was arrested several hours later, as was another suspect.
The Kan public broadcaster said that Sah had admitted to driving the offending car, but claimed he never noticed hitting anyone. The report said that officials were investigating whether the attack was premeditated.
Sah has been reported to be a building contractor and the brother of the owner of the company carrying out the construction work.
Police on Tuesday night arrested two Palestinian illegal workers suspected of being accomplices in the ramming who were allegedly at the construction site in the northern city. Police nabbed the two suspects along with nine other illegal workers near Jerusalem in the evening. The two were taken for questioning. A third suspected accomplice is still at large.