Saher Ismail, Arab affairs advisor for Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton, was shot dead just outside his home Sunday morning, August 15, in the northern town of Rameh, Al-Ittihad reported. Ismail, 50, was pronounced dead by Magen David Adom medics who arrived at the scene of the crime.
Ismail, who had been a candidate for the Knesset for the right-wing New Hope party in this year’s Israeli election, was murdered as he sitting in his car next to his home.
Joint List head MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) tweeted: “Saher Ismael, adviser to the education minister, paid the price for being an Arab. 72 Arab citizens have been murdered since the beginning of the year.” “All of Arab society [in Israel] has been crying out for decades, but no one listens. Maybe now the government will finally wake up,” Odeh wrote.
Arab cities and towns have seen a surge in violence in recent years, with organized crime seen as the main driver. More than 90% of shootings in Israel last year took place in Arab communities, according to police, though Arab-Palestinian citizens in Israel account for only around one-fifth of the country’s population. Hadash blames the police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars, and violence against women.