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Bennett launches national campaign against crime in Israeli-Arab villages

Saher Ismail, adviser of the education minister, was killed this week outside his house in the Israeli-Arab town of Rameh; he was the 74th Israeli-Arab murdered since the beginning of the year.
Head of Israel's right-wing Yamina party Naftali Bennett (L) chats with Mansour Abbas, head of the conservative Islamic Raam party, during a special session to vote on a new government at the Knesset, Jerusalem, June 13, 2021.

It was another run-of-the-mill morning for Saher Ismail, adviser to Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton. On Aug. 15, Ismail left his home in Kafr Rameh in the Galilee, said goodbye to his wife and six-year-old son, and got into his car to go to work. A few minutes later, he was mowed down by a hail of bullets.

Ismail, 50, was a familiar figure in the national political scene. His death left many unanswered questions, but most of all, it left people stunned. Who could have wanted to see a person like that dead? There was nothing unusual or suspicious about him. For years, he was a prominent Likud activist in the Arab society, and a close friend of Justice Minister Gideon Saar. Had he been threatened by criminals because of his ties to people in power. Were they trying to extort him? Only one thing was certain. His murder was planned well in advance.

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