Latest killing in Israeli-Arab town takes the life of local imam. ‘We have no idea who would target him, or why,’ says family.
An imam was shot dead in front of his mosque in the Israeli-Arab city of Umm el-Fahm Tuesday morning, the latest killing in a community where radical Islamist movements have grown in size and influence in recent years.
The victim, 45-year-old Sheikh Muhammad Saadah, was shot to death at the entrance of his mosque just after morning prayers on Tuesday.
Police units were dispatched to the scene, and authorities have opened an investigation into the shooting.
MDA emergency first responders arrived at the scene of the shooting just after 5:00 a.m., but were forced to declare Saadah dead.
“At 5:11 a.m., the MDA 101 call center’s Gilboa Region branch received a report that a person had been wounded in a shooting in Umm el-Fahm,” an MDA spokesperson said. “MDA paramedics and first responders declared the death of a man, roughly 50 years of age, who had been shot in his upper torso.”
Relatives of the slain imam say they were shocked by the killing, saying they could not think of anyone who would have been motivated to murder Saadah.
The shooting, they said, was a “red line” for the community.
“If people are shooting at mosques, we’re all in danger,” the family said.