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Palestinian with Israeli citizenship shot dead in Galilee-area town

Nov. 19, 2016 3:21 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 20, 2016 4:49 P.M.)
GALILEE (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian with Israeli citizenship was shot dead in the town of Kafr Kanna in northern Israel on Saturday.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri identified the slain Palestinian as 48-year-old Anan Hakroush, adding in her statement that Hakroush was shot while in a private vehicle near the Mercantile Bank in the Galilee.

According to al-Samri, he was found with several gunshot injuries in his vehicle and was evacuated to a hospital near Tiberias, where he was later pronounced dead.

Local sources in Kafr Kanna told Ma’an that the victim’s uncle Jamal Hakroush is a high-ranking official in the Israeli police, in charge of improving police services in Palestinian neighborhoods in Israel.

Palestinian-majority neighborhoods in Israel have seen an increase in gun violence in recent years, while members of the Arab Joint List of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, have called on authorities to crack down on illegal weapons in Israel’s Palestinian communities, where there is a disproportionate lack of policing compared to Jewish-majority neighborhoods.

MK Yousif Jabareen of the Joint List has warned against a rise in policing of Palestinian communities in the form of punitive action such as housing demolitions, rather than protecting Palestinian citizens of Israel from criminal violence.

“This is an issue that desperately requires reform rather than punishment,” Jabareen told Ma’an in April.

“It is important that the police adopt a new policy and attitude towards the Arab community. [...] Without this, the mere establishment of additional police stations and an increase in policing may result in increased tension and confrontation between our community and the police, rather than effective policing of crime and violence.”

In a Knesset meeting in January, Joint List MK Osama Saadi called illegal firearms “a cancer in the body of Arab society.”

“We have constantly warned about this, but there is an outcry only when the weapons are directed -- once -- at Tel Aviv,” referring to a shooting carried out by a Palestinian citizen of Israel in Tel Aviv in January that killed two Israelis and injured seven. After a days-long manhunt across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, the suspect was shot dead by Israeli forces.

The aftermath of the attack saw Israeli forces crack down on Palestinian citizens of Israel during the search for the suspect, as rights groups told Ma’an the forces enforced discriminatory treatment in Palestinian communities.

Palestinians with Israeli citizenship have long complained of discriminatory treatment at the hands of police forces amounting to racial profiling.

MK Basel Ghattas, also of the Joint List, echoed the issue of mutual mistrust between Israeli police and Palestinian-majority towns in the face of rising violence in May. “Police view the Arab as an enemy, and we view the police as a hostile entity, and this affects everything,” he said.
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