Police on Monday opened an investigation into an incident near the northern Israeli-Arab city of Umm al-Fahm after a shocking video emerged of dogs being burned alive inside an abandoned car.
In the video uploaded to Facebook, the car can be seen engulfed in flames, while the dogs trapped inside the vehicle can be heard barking and wailing in fear and pain.
According to Hebrew media reports, firefighters and municipal workers, alerted by a passerby, arrived at the scene and extinguished the flames, but were unable to save the the dogs. It was not immediately clear how many dogs were in the vehicle.
A police spokesperson said the authorities were working to “locate the perpetrators in order to bring them to justice.”
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Eti Altman, who heads the animal rights NGO Let the Animals Live, called on Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to ensure that police find those responsible, saying “all possible lines were crossed.”
“I want to look [the perpetrators] in the eyes and I want to see them brought to justice and sit in prison for many years in order that an example be made,” she wrote on Facebook.
Umm al-Fahm resident Rami Mahameed told the Hebrew-language Ynet that the incident was “horrifying,” and called for the perpetrators to be thrown in jail.
“The people who committed this act are not human beings. These dogs are better than them,” he said.
“This is a horrifying act that is difficult for us to comprehend,” he added.
Another Umm al-Fahm resident said burning the dogs alive “is no different than murdering a human being.”
“In my opinion people like this are mentally disturbed and they don’t deserve to be among [other] humans. They are capable of carrying out much worse acts” than this, he said.