Arab Druze teenager killed in Israel over 'sexual orientation'

Arab Druze teenager killed in Israel over 'sexual orientation'
An 18-year-old woman was shot multiple times in northern Israel. Media report that her 'sexual orientation' may have played a role in her murder.
2 min read
10 June, 2023
Sarit Ahmed was rushed to hospital after being shot multiple times but her young life could not be saved [Twitter]

An eighteen-year-old Arab Druze was shot and killed on Friday near the village of Yarka, in a murder allegedly motivated by the teenager’s sexual orientation, sources told The New Arab.

Sarit Ahmed was found lying in the street with multiple gunshot wounds to her upper body, according to Israeli emergency services. She was then rushed to the Galilee Medical Centre in Israel’s Northern District, where she was later pronounced dead.

Ahmed, a resident of the nearby predominantly Druze village of Kisra-Sumei, had previously received death threats from her brothers allegedly due to her sexual orientation and had stayed at a shelter for a couple of months, according to Haaretz

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In 2020, Ahmed filed a complaint against two of her brothers claiming they had threatened her life, leading them to be indicted. 

The indictment suggested that Ahmed “established contact with someone whom the brothers disapproved of”, leading them to make explicit threats against her life, according to a report by Haaretz.

The brothers were jailed for three and four months, while Ahmed was placed in a shelter for girls and underwent a family reconciliation process overseen by the police and welfare services.

 Ahmed then returned to the family home but soon complained of receiving threats against her life again.

She was again removed from her home and placed in a shelter as a high-risk case. Ahmed then left the facility to live with her sister in another village. 

Last month, Ahmed made a final complaint against her brothers for threatening her life.  After briefly returning to the shelter, she went back to live with her sister. It was at this point that her murder took place, according to Haaretz.

No one had yet been arrested for Ahmed’s murder and no formal suspects were publicly identified.

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The murder came amid a wave of unrelated violence across Israel, including the killing of five people in an alleged gang-related crime in the village of Yafia near Nazareth.

Palestinian citizens of Israel have long complained of discrimination and police inaction against violence and crime that disproportionately affects their communities. This year alone has seen 96 Arab citizens of Israel killed in homicides, including 7 women.