Three people were arrested on Thursday in connection with the quadruple murder in Abu Snan on Tuesday, one of whom was a candidate for local council president.
The Shin Bet announced that they were withdrawing from the investigation, despite the fact that they had been touted as being central to the investigation, according to Walla.
The arrests came after several days of investigation in which the Shin Bet concluded that the murders were likely criminal in nature rather than political.
The four victims were Ghazi Saeb, 53, the candidate for local council president, Zohar al-Din Saeb, 45, Amir Saeb, 28, all residents of Abu Snan, and Salman Khalab, 66, from Yarka.
Druze community leaders called for the community to go on strike, blaming government and security officials directly, saying “The Druze community places the responsibility for the lack of security in the north on the police and the government.”
Two suspects were arrested in the Galilee village of Deir el-Asad on Thursday. The operation was carried out by the Gideonim Unit of the Israel Police, an elite unit that helps conduct counter-terrorism operations and combat serious crime, as reported by N12.
The third suspect was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport Thursday morning as he attempted to board a flight out of the country. Where he was flying remains a subject of debate, with some media reporting Dubai while others reporting Turkey.
The suspect was taken to Haifa Magistrate's court where police requested his detention be extended by 10 days, however, the judge, Dr. Zaid Falah, only extended it by five days.
The suspect's lawyers said: "He was about to leave the country with relatives for a pre-planned trip and the police would not have even thought of arresting him if he had stayed in the country. The investigators have no clue and are relying on this shaky case of false intelligence and nothing else. They asked to extend the detention by ten days and the court's decision to detain him only until Monday speaks for itself."
The murders were likely the result of the ongoing feud between the Bakiri and Hariri crime families, although relatives of the deceased are skeptical of such a scenario with several family members saying that none of the victims were members of or involved in crime families. Brig.-Gen. (res.) Anwar Saeb, a relative of three of the victims, said that even if it were crime family related it was a different kind of crime.
"This is a crazy and bizarre event, we don't understand what is happening here. The Saeb family is one of the most educated and learned families in Israel, with dozens of officers, doctors, engineers, and lawyers. A family that has never encountered a crime, we don't even have thefts," Saeb told Ynet.
"Even a crime family has rules and laws, we see here that there are no more laws. This is no longer a red line, this is not an ordinary crime," he said.