Talks about a long-term agreement with Hamas create controversy, even within the Netanyahu coalition, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman who are in favor of the agreement, but with minister Naftali Bennett of the minister, who publicly rejects it.
The blatant attacks by Bennett could have been the reason behind the Umm-al-Fahm campaign that Liberman had re-launched. Perhaps Bennett's attack was the reason why Liberman opened that old, tried front that allowed him to take a more warlike position, according to his reputation.
The Israeli Arab Ahmad Mahameed was shot dead in the old city of Jerusalem when he tried to stab a policeman there. After his funeral in the Israeli Arab city of Umm al-Fahm on 21 August, Liberman has posted a tweet"Ask yourself if Umm al-Fahm should be a part of Palestine instead of Israel?" The sight of all the hundreds of people attending the funeral of the local terrorist waved Palestinian flags and chanted: & # 39 With blood and spirit, we will avenge the martyr! & # 39; Should finally answer your question The plan that I presented years ago for an exchange of territories and populations is now more relevant than ever. "
At a meeting of the Yisrael Beitenu faction later that day, Liberman cynically added: "There is no reason for Umm al-Fahm to remain part of the state of Israel instead of becoming part of Palestine. in that they will enjoy the same freedom of expression and the same economic benefits under the (Palestinian President) Mahmoud Abbas, and that they will benefit fully from Palestinian democracy. "
Liberman not only referred to the hundreds of people attending the funeral. He meant all the people who lived in the city of 53,000.
Ahmad Mahameed was a member of one of the four largest clans in the city. His family claims that the large numbers attending the funeral (about 1,500, according to reports, or 10 times the number of participants approved by the police) were not there to show support for his attempted act of terrorism. A member of the clan, Ahmad Yunis Mahameed, told Al-Monitor that Ahmad Mahameed was an emotionally disturbed person who was already known to the authorities. According to the family, the Israeli police were a little too fast to shoot. There were other ways to neutralize him and prevent the attack instead of killing him. In addition, the family and many funeral attendants were furious about a decision by the police to demand a 50,000 shekel ($ 13,700) band and set strict conditions before the body was released. The police insisted that the funeral was kept at night, that no more than 150 people were present and that it took a maximum of two hours.
Jamal Mahameed mediated between the family and the police about the release of the body. He told Al-Monitor that the family only learned about the true size of the crowd when they arrived at the cemetery. "How can someone control the number of people attending a funeral?" He asked. He added that the many people who attended were mostly members of the same clan. Everyone knew that Ahmad was disturbed, and as such he should not have been shot at; the incident should not have ended with Ahmad full of bullets.
Another member of the Mahameed clan was arrested during the wave of violence in October 2015. In that case, Alaa Mahameed was involved in a vehicular and stab attack at the Allon Snijpunt, at the entrance to Kibbutz Gan Shmuel.
Then, in July 2017, three terrorists from the Jabarin clan of the city were involved in an attack on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Two Druze Border Patrol officers, Haiel Sitawe and Kamil Shnaan, died at the attack. In that case, the bodies of the terrorists have only returned to their families after a ruling by the Supreme Court. The number of people attending their funeral also exceeded the limits imposed by the police.
"We are talking about a small percentage of the participants [out of the total population of Umm al-Fahm], with just a handful of those screaming for revenge and screaming slogans against Israel, "a member of the city's Mahajnah clan, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Al-Monitor, saying that activities of the forbidden northern branch of the Islamic movement, led by Sheikh Raed Salah, have a clear effect on local residents, and religious extremism is increasing, causing divisions and tears, not only in the city, but even within individual families, sometimes divided among secular supporters. of the Hadash (communist) party and religious supporters of the Islamic Movement.
The vast majority of the inhabitants of Umm al-Fahm work in the Jewish cities and villages of Israel. Some have jobs in settlements near Umm al-Fahm, others work in the major cities of Haifa, Tel Aviv and Hadera. Many of them work in construction, but a significant percentage have administrative functions such as lawyers, teachers, university lecturers and welfare workers. There are also quite a few inhabitants of Umm al-Fahm who work in hospitals in various hospitals throughout Israel. They give way to religious fanaticism and do not feel alienated from the larger Israeli society. "Are they all terrorists?" Asked another resident of the city to the Mahajnah clan who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said the Israeli authorities, including the police, are ignoring negative phenomena in Umm al-Fahm, such as the way the Islamic movement takes over the city or the growing violence there. Then the same authorities use the results of their neglect to defile the reputation of the whole city.
Claims that the police and local authorities are not doing enough to reduce the level of violence in Arab society, while consciously ignoring the forces, is a major problem frequently voiced by the residents of Umm al-Fahm. After a series of violent incidents last year, the residents of the city held a demonstration in March 2017 demanding that the law be enforced more strictly there. One resident, a member of the same Mahameed clan as the terrorist who was killed in Jerusalem last week, said: "Let's say that 1% of the population is violent, and the remaining 99% of the population must ultimately pay the price of nothing do against those gangs and criminals, who try to dominate the daily lives of all other residents? "In the same way, people in Umm al Fahm now say that the whole population should not be condemned, and no one should propose to transfer them to the Palestinian Authority, simply because a small minority of people chanted anti-Israeli slogans during the funeral.
All this is certainly not important for the Minister of Defense. He prefers to fight for his own political career, especially given his bad show in the polls. That is more important for him than investing time and energy in putting together a plan to improve the situation in Umm al-Fahm, to curb violence and to keep religious extremists out. "Hand Umm al-Fahm over to Mahmoud Abbas" is a more attractive slogan for its followers on the right than "Make Umm al-Fahm a safer city."