Shots fired at house of Arab mayor in Galilee

Shots fired at house of Arab mayor in Galilee

Assailants also set alight car belonging to Safwat Abu Raya, who was not home at the time; man shot dead in Kafr Qassem

An illustrative photo of a police car, February 27, 2017. (Moti Karelitz/Flash90)
An illustrative photo of a police car, February 27, 2017. (Moti Karelitz/Flash90)

Shots were fired early Saturday at the home of the mayor in the Galilee city of Sakhnin.

The assailants also set Mayor Safwat Abu Raya’s car on fire.

Abu Raya was overseas at the time of the shooting, which resulted in property damage but no injuries.

Two suspects have been arrested in connection to the shooting, Hebrew media reports said.

There was no immediate word on a suspected motive.

Police called to Abu Raya’s home were gathering evidence and launched a search for possible suspects. A police investigation has been opened.

“The city is experiencing a wave of violent shooting recently. The situation here is very grave and everyone is suffering,” a Sakhnin resident told the Ynet news site.

He added that if the police didn’t track down the shooters, “ultimately a local council leader will be murdered.”

The municipal council convened an emergency meeting Saturday morning to discuss recent violence in Sakhnin, according to Channel 13 news.

The incident came on the heels of other recent attacks on Arab municipal leaders, including a shooting Tuesday at the home of the head of the Jadeidi-Makr local council that left a security guard moderately injured.

Also Saturday, a man was shot to death in the central Arab city of Kafr Qassem.

Police were searching for a masked suspect who fled the scene of the shooting, the Kan public broadcaster reported.

Recent months have seen a wave of killings and crime in the Arab Israeli community. Police say there have been more than 70 killings in Arab communities this year, nearly as many as in each of the past two years, when Arabs, who are 20 percent of the general population, made up more than half of all murder victims nationwide.

Arab leaders say Israeli police largely ignore the violence in their communities, everything from family feuds and mafia turf wars to domestic violence and so-called honor killings.

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