Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said it could still not be determined with certainty that the killing of 20-year-old Shelly Dadon earlier this month was a nationalistically motivated terrorist attack and not a criminal murder.
“We still don’t know if it’s possible to determine with certainty if the motive was nationalistic or criminal and it will take days until the picture becomes clear,” Aharonovitch said Monday.
The minister’s comments came during a tour of Yokne’am, the site of a series of suspected “price-tag” nationalistic crimes over the past month.
Dadon was found stabbed to death in Migdal Ha’emek on May 1. Police had said previously that evidence found at the scene led investigators to focus on nationalistic motives.
Last week, Aharonovitch said there had been a “dramatic break” in the Dadon case, and that he expected those responsible to be arrested in the coming days.
Thousands of friends, relatives and supporters rallied in Afula on Saturday night in memory of Dadon.
The rally began at around 8 p.m. at the Jezreel Valley town’s Yad L’Banim branch, from where it made its way to Independence Square.
Ahead of the rally, Assaf Sarid, a cousin of the victim, said the protest was not political, instead being meant to convey the message that Israel must toughen the penalties for murders and stop releasing convicted killers for political reasons.
The protesters were not calling for the death penalty, he added, although another demand was an improved sense of personal security for Israelis.
“It’s unacceptable that people in Afula are afraid to go out and don’t feel safe here,” Sarid said. Protest organizer Or Daniel also mentioned the killing last November of Eden Atias, an 18-year-old soldier stabbed to death in his sleep while on a bus parked at the Afula central station. In addition, Daniel said he believed the death of Dadon received less coverage than the recent spate of “price-tag” attacks, where unknown vandals have been damaging property and leaving hostile graffiti in Arab towns and neighborhoods.
During the rally, a number of demonstrators chanted anti-Arab slogans and reportedly threw rocks at a car belonging to an Arab man.