Abu Ghanem, a resident of the Cyprus camps in Lod, fell victim to an unknown assailant who opened fire on him in the streets of the city. Despite swift emergency response, he was pronounced dead at the scene, leaving behind a shocked and grieving community.
Tragically, Abu Ghanem’s death marked the second such incident on the same day. Just hours earlier, Abdul Latif Zeitoun, 35, met a similar fate near the Megiddo Junction, a major road intersection in northern occupied Palestine. Details surrounding Zeitoun’s death remain murky and under investigation.
Candidates Under Fire
These grim events represent only a portion of the escalating targeted violence and criminality that has besieged the Palestinian community in the 1948 lands. The lead-up to the forthcoming municipal elections scheduled for October has seen a surge in attacks on Palestinian public figures and candidates, raising concerns about the safety and security of those seeking to participate in the elections.
Musa’ad Dokhan, a mayoral candidate in Nazareth, was shot and wounded by masked gunmen, leaving his brother and cousin injured in the same attack just days ago. Suheil Diab, the mayor of Tamra, faced shots fired at his residence and the city hall, while Israeli occupation forces apprehended three individuals linked to the attack.
The city of Abu Snan in the Galilee region suffered a devastating loss when four Palestinians were killed, including Razi Saab, a prominent mayoral contender. In another tragic incident, Dr. Abdel Rahman Kashua, director general of the Tira municipality, was murdered in his city.
The Palestinian community, living in a constant state of fear and distress, attributes the surge in violence to a lack of security and protection from Israeli occupation authorities. Accusations point to a climate of lawlessness and discrimination, which seems to empower criminals to operate with impunity. Criticism is also directed towards the Israeli occupation forces for failing to provide adequate protection and enforce the rule of law.
The disturbing statistics paint a grim picture, with Palestinian human rights groups revealing that the death toll has more than doubled compared to the same period last year. The number of victims in 2023 has risen to a staggering 158, compared to 68 during the same timeframe in the previous year. Most of these fatalities stem from fatal shootings, creating an atmosphere of unease and vulnerability for the Palestinian community.
As the death toll continues to rise and the sense of insecurity deepens, Palestinians in the 1948 lands are demanding immediate and effective intervention from Israeli occupation authorities. They seek an end to the ongoing bloodshed and justice for the victims and their bereaved families. Furthermore, they implore the international community and human rights organizations to stand in solidarity, extend support, and work toward bringing an end to the cycle of violence and injustice that plagues their lives.