Israeli police kill man in Palestinian town of Um Al Fahm

Israeli police kill man in Palestinian town of Um Al Fahm
Fathi Jabareen was killed by Israeli police while allegedly being involved a quarrel between two Palestinian families over a street shooting in the Palestinian town in northern Israel.
4 min read
West Bank
04 December, 2021
The killing of Fathi Jabareen by Israeli police came days after another Palestinian in Um Al-Fahm was killed in gun-violence [Getty]

Israeli police killed a Palestinian man on Friday in the town of Um Al Fahm in northern Israel.

Police identified the Palestinian as Fathi Jabareen, a man in his late twenties.

According to the Israeli police, Jabareen was allegedly involved in a in a car-ramming attack, which injured two policemen.

The Israeli police also said in a statement that the young man’s motive was "not political", and that he was escaping the police, who were intervening in a fight between two Palestinian families.

Local sources confirmed to The New Arab that Israeli police tried to stop Jabareen when he was getting involved part in a quarrel between the two Palestinian families, who had been violently clashing for days following the killing of a 33-year-old man in a gun violence incident on Thursday.

The man was the 10th victim of gun violence in Um Al-Fahm town and the 101st victim of violence among Palestinian communities in Israel since the beginning of the year, according to a statement by the Popular Committee of Um Al-Fahm, a coalition of civil associations and residents.

Police neglect

The killing of Jabareen shed new light on the question of violence in Palestinian communities in Israel. The popular committee of Um Al-Fahm said in its statement, following the killing of Jabareen, that "the only responsible [party] for the tragic situation of Um Al-Fahm is the Israeli police, who has allowed guns to spread in our city and in our Arab communities without any control".

"The presence of Israeli police has increased in Um Al-Fahm in recent years, as well as police violence, arrests, and house searches, but at the same time, armed criminal gangs have grown stronger and their disputes claim more lives, turning into disputes between families over blood," Mohammad Taher, a 29-year-old resident of Um Al-Fahm and a volunteer in the popular committee, told The New Arab that "

Taher pointed out that "the Israeli police intervenes only when things go off-hand, like on Friday. And if they feel threatened, they feel it's easy to open fire on Palestinian young men to kill".

Last February, Palestinians in Um-Al Fahm protested against Israeli police neglect. The protests quickly turned into violent clashes.

"At the time we had lost 21 young people to gun violence, so we marched peacefully with 21 coffins to the police station, in a symbolic move," recalled Mohammad Taher.

"The police began to violently disperse us and the protest turned into clashes with the police, that lasted for weeks, and continued with the May protests in the rest of Palestinian communities in Israel," he added.


'Third world reality in a first world state'

"Since the year 2000, when Palestinian towns in Israel protested in large numbers in support of the Intifada, Israel has adopted a policy of reinforcing police presence in Palestinian towns, while at the same time suppressing all social and political structures that guaranteed social cohesion, and neglecting drug and arms dealing in these communities," Razi Nabulse, social researcher on Palestinians in Israel, at the Palestinian Center of Policy Studies told The New Arab.

"Palestinians in Israel live in a 3rd world reality, trapped within a 1st world state that is stranger to them, as a result of decades-long discrimination in development," Nabulse said, adding that "this reality produces poverty, crime and violence, to which the state responds with more police forces, which reflects in more police violence."

Later on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Neftali Bennet met with the minister of interior, the head of the National Security Commission, the General Commander of the Israeli police, his military secretary and other officials, to discuss the possible implications of the killing of Jabareen in Um Al-Fahm.

Bennet then told the Israeli media that his government will "concentrate its efforts to enforce law through the palpable reinforcement of police personnel", expressing his "support to the members of the police who work in difficult conditions". Bennet also called to "dialogue with leaders of the Arab community to calm the situation".