tayseer Karaki arab taxi driver 248.88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
The family of Tayseer Karaki, the 35-year-old taxi driver who was murdered in Tel Aviv on Monday, on Tuesday expressed hope that the perpetrators would be punished severely.
They also expressed deep concern for the future of the victim's five children - four girls and one boy.
"We hope the Israeli courts will punish the murderers," Khaled Karaki, the victim's brother, said. "The murder has left the family in a state of shock and uncertainty. We never expected such a thing to happen."
Karaki said his brother had never been involved in political or security activities.
"He was just an ordinary person working hard to support his family," he said. "He was a straightforward and decent man who never got into trouble with anyone."
Asked if the family would seek revenge, Karaki said: "We have been informed by the Israeli authorities that the suspect who was arrested on Monday has confessed to committing the murder. The police told us they view the case very seriously and that they would pursue their investigation. We hope the murderer will be treated as a murderer."
The Karakis, who are originally from Hebron, live in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina. The victim's oldest daughter is 12 years old and the youngest is three.
Karaki's body was handed over to the family Tuesday afternoon, and he was buried in east Jerusalem. Hundreds of people attended the funeral, which ended peacefully.
One of his uncles, Abu Maher, told The Jerusalem Post the family was worried about claims that the suspect was suffering from some kind of a mental illness.
"Why is it that whenever a Jew murders an Arab they say he's crazy and deranged?" he asked. "But when an Arab murders a Jew, he's always convicted even of he really is insane."
Maher expressed fear that the suspect may end up in a mental institution instead of prison.
"This murder was committed by a radical and dangerous man," he said. "Israel should treat him the same way it deals with Hamas. There should be no difference between Jewish and Arab blood."
Neighbors described Karaki as a "nice and peaceful" man who believed in coexistence between Jews and Arabs. They said he loved his children very much and spent a great deal of time with them.
"I feel really sorry for the children," one neighbor said. "Who's going to look after them now? How will they survive without their father, who was the sole breadwinner? May God help them."
One of Karaki's friends blamed incitement against Arabs for the murder.
"All the Arabs are being portrayed as a dangerous enemy and potential murderers," he said. "In recent weeks we have witnessed an increase in incitement against the Arabs, especially from Israeli officials and media."