Umm el-Fahm Deputy Mayor Zachi Agbaria and his adult children were attacked at their home on Saturday, likely due to a contentious municipal decision.
The three assailants’ assault left the politician’s children lightly injured; they were treated at the nearby Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera.
The three suspects are a 62-year-old man and his two sons in their 30s, all of whom are residents of the city. The initial police investigation found that they likely came to Agbaria’s house because of a long-standing conflict over a local outline plan that the deputy mayor promoted by virtue of his membership on the planning and construction committee, according to N12.
The suspects, carrying sticks, arrived at his house in two vehicles on Saturday afternoon. After breaking into the house, they confronted and started pushing Agbaria, after which his sons and neighbors stepped in, according to Ynet.
“We were attacked at home. Residents who were angry with the municipality and the committee came to me. We sat down, they started shouting and it developed into threats against me and my children. I called the police. All this happened in the yard of my house,” Agbaria told N12.
“The children were present during the incident; they saw that the meeting was not going well,” he said. “They were attacked, there were beatings, but neither side used weapons. My children went to the hospital for tests and they are fine. My mistake is that there are no cameras in the house – we planned to put cameras during renovations.”
Condemnations of the attack
The Umm el-Fahm municipality condemned the assault.
“We consider the act to be a completely unacceptable crossing of a redline, which does not represent the residents of Umm el-Fahm,” its statement said. “The municipality will not stand idly by in the face of this cowardly attack and will enforce the law with those who attack elected officials.”
"The municipality will not stand idly by in the face of this cowardly attack and will exhaust the law with those who attack elected officials."Umm al-Fahm municipality
The local Wadi Ara committee for planning and construction also condemned the attack.
“The injury to committee member Zachi Agbaria is disgraceful and criminal,” it said. “The chairman of the committee, its members and employees stress that any such actions against a public representative, whether elected or employed, are completely unacceptable, and the perpetrators must be punished according to the law – and these matters should not be made light of.”
Two of the suspects, the father and one of his sons, were arrested on the spot and transferred to the Umm al-Fahm police station for questioning. The third suspect has yet to be arrested.
In accordance with the initial findings of the investigation, the police will ask the Haifa Magistrate's Court to extend their detention.