Two dead and multiple injured, including children in shootings in Israeli-Arab towns

Northern District Police have yet to make any arrests in the shootings and a gag order was imposed on details of the investigation.

March 26, 2017 10:23
2 minute read.
Picture of the crime scene in Nazareth, Saturday night.

Picture of the crime scene in Nazareth, Saturday night.. (photo credit: COURTESY ISRAEL POLICE)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Two were killed and four wounded in three separate shooting incidents in Israeli- Arab villages on Saturday night.

Ahmad Gazala, 33, and Shadi Khawaja, 34, were killed in an alleged drive-by shooting in the Bir el Amir neighborhood of Nazareth. Police reported the incident at 10:26 p.m. and said it appears to be criminally motivated. The victims were evacuated to the English Hospital in Nazareth, where they were pronounced dead. As of Sunday afternoon, the Northern District Police had yet to make any arrests and a gag order was imposed on details of the investigation.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Meanwhile, in the coastal Arab town of Jisr e-Zarka, three children where wounded Saturday night when a shooter fired at a house and yard and fled, police said. The three minors, one seriously wounded and two moderately wounded, were evacuated to the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera. The Coastal District Police has not yet made any arrests. Spokesman Chaim Ponimonsky said police suspect that a conflict between two families in the town motivated the shooting.

Also on Saturday night, a 30-year-old man was shot outside his house in the Ein Jarar neighborhood of Umm el-Fahm. Police said the circumstances of the shooting are unclear and are continuing to investigate. No arrests had been made as of Sunday.

Police have been seeking to increase enforcement of and improve relations with Arab-Israeli towns and cities.

In 2016, they led a targeted campaign to recruit more Arab citizens to join the force (Arabs comprise about 4% of the police force and 20% of the general population).

Along with increased recruitment among Arabs, police plan to open new stations in Arab communities, as part of a five-year, NIS 2 billion plan to increase law enforcement in those localities.

The implementation of this plan, however, has been met with criticism. Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel and Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi argue that increasing Arab recruits does not change the underlying system of discrimination against Arabs.

Ponimonsky said the police are hoping to open a new station in Jisr e-Zarka this year, but the challenge of increasing police enforcement in Arab areas is mainly due to a lack of cooperation among residents.

“We are doing our best to capture weapons all the time in the villages,” he said, “but unfortunately, we don’t receive enough support from the citizens there, and this is something they have to improve.”

Related Content

July 15, 2018
Israeli politicians on World Cup night say Viva Gaza border residents