Benny Gantz pays visit to family of four-year-old shot dead in Galilee

Defense Minister Benny Gantz offered his condolences to the family of Omar Hajirat, who was killed by a stray bullet while playing in a playground on Thursday.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz with the father of Omar Hajirat on Saturday, January 8, 2022 (photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz with the father of Omar Hajirat on Saturday, January 8, 2022
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Saturday visited the family of Omar Hajirat, the four-year-old toddler killed by a stray bullet in the Galilee on Thursday.

Hajirat was shot dead from a bullet fired from a construction site some 300 meters away from the playground he was playing at with his mother.

Gantz paid a visit to the Bir al-Maksur home of the Hajirat family, along with Blue and White MK Mofid Mari and Bir al-Maksur Regional Council head Khaled Hajirat.

In his visit, the defense minister offered his condolences, as well as reassurance that the Israeli government and the defense establishment are committed to fighting the crime and violence that has plagued the Arab sector and took the young boy's life.

"We as a society should fight the crime amplified by illegal weapons in the Arab sector," said Gantz. "We will do all we can to bring the perpetrator to justice and prevent the next murder."

"We all need to work together - the government, community leaders and families, to ensure every child can grow up feeling safe in all parts of Israel," the defense minister stated.

Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai hugging the father of Omar Hajirat on Saturday, January 8, 2022 (credit: ISRAEL POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai hugging the father of Omar Hajirat on Saturday, January 8, 2022 (credit: ISRAEL POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

On the day of the incident, Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev said his "heart is broken...we will not rest until the case is settled with the shooters."

Earlier on Saturday, Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai also paid a visit to the Hajirat family home in the Bedouin regional council. Police have arrested four suspects in the shooting.