VIDEO: Israeli Arabs praise Tel Aviv gunman as 'martyr' - 'With soul and blood, we will redeem you'

Arab lawmaker reacts to Milhem killing, said "circumstances remain unclear."

January 8, 2016 21:25
2 minute read.

Arabs praise 'martyr' gunman

Arabs praise 'martyr' gunman


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Just hours after a team of Shin Bet and police counter-terrorist commandos shot and killed fugitive gunman Nashat Milhem during an arrest raid in the Israeli Arab town of Arara on Friday, a group of bystanders near the scene was filmed praising the terrorist who killed two people when he opened fire on a crowded Tel Aviv street last week as a "martyr."

"With soul and blood, we will redeem you, martyr," the individuals in the clip, presumed to be Israeli Arabs, are heard chanting.

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Israel's Arab citizens largely condemned Milhem's actions last week, yet sectarian tensions remain high as many have complained that the country's Jewish majority is quick to brand them as terrorist sympathizers and co-conspirators.

Joint List MK Joseph Jabarin reacted to the police raid on Friday, saying: "The circumstances of the incident are still not clear to us, and we are very concerned about the wave of incitement against Arab citizens in general, and the residents of Wadi Ara in particular."

"In the last week, the Arab population was the target of a campaign of collective de-legitimization and stigmatizing, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu," Jabarin said.

Netanyahu's comment's on Saturday, in which he accused some Arab-Israelis as having dual loyalty to both the Israeli and the Palestinian cause, caused a stir.

“There are many among Muslim Israeli citizens who have come out against the violence and are crying out for full law enforcement in their towns," Netanayhu said during a visit to the scene of the attack in Tel Aviv. "At the same time, we all know that there is wild incitement by radical Islam against the State of Israel in the Arab sector. Incitement in mosques, in the education system, on social media,” he said, vowing to continue efforts to stop the incitement.

The prime minister said he is unwilling to have a state within a state in Israel, in which some citizens live in “enclaves with no law enforcement, with Islamist incitement and an abundance of illegal weapons that are often fired at happy events, weddings, and during endless criminal incidents.”

“That time is over,” Netanyahu declared.

"The Arab population in Israel is waging a popular, public, and political struggle that is nonviolent," Jabarin said. "This is our way, and we will continue on this path despite the vicious incitement against us."

"In these difficult moments, I call on both nations to maintain a sane dialogue and to act toward instituting full equality of rights and peace for everyone," the lawmaker said.

Sheikh Kamal Khatib, the deputy head of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement and the imam at the Omar Ibn al-Khatab mosque in Kafr Kana, accused Netanyahu of using the Milhem case as an excuse to brand all Muslims as guilty.

"That is the real story behind the events following the murder in Tel Aviv," Khatib said.

"In Netanyahu's eyes, all of the Muslims are murderers. That's what he tried to do, and unfortunately that is what he has been saying since the murder in Tel Aviv."

"The one who has danced on the blood of those who were murdered in Tel Aviv is Netanyahu and no one else," said the sheikh. "He simply cannot behave differently because that's what he has always done. He needs to speak in a different manner and not tar the entire Muslim population with a brush."

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