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Palestinian town in Israel shaken by Jerusalem killings

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The July 14 attack by three Palestinian citizens of Israel that led to the death of two Israeli soldiers and their own death by the Israeli security has focused attention on two Palestinian towns in Israel.

Umm al-Fahm, a city of 52,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel, lies in the Wadi Ara area. Twenty kilometers (12.5 miles) north of the West Bank city of Jenin, Umm al-Fahm is home to the northern branch of the radical Islamic Movement and its leader and former mayor of the city, Raed Salah. Three cousins who shot the two Israeli border guard police came from this city. Muhammad Ahmed Jabarin, 29, Muhammad Hamid Jabarin, 19, and Muhammad Ahmed Mufdal Jabarin, 19, traveled to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and carried out the shooting rampage. Shortly after the news of the attack emerged, the city council of Umm al-Fahm met and issued a statement calling on the town’s citizens to remain calm.

Some 40 kilometers west of Umm al-Fahm and in the heart of the Galilee lies the town of Mughar. While Umm al-Fahm is predominantly made up of Palestinian Muslims, Mughar’s 12,000 citizens belong to three faiths: Muslim (20%), Christian (20%) and Druze (60%).

Mughar is home to Israeli Advanced Staff Sgt. Maj. Hayil Satawi, a Druze citizen who was killed in the Jerusalem attack. Satawi, 30, was married with a three-week-old son, Ramos. The other policeman killed is Staff Sgt. Maj. Kamil Shnaan, 22, and hails from the predominantly Druze village of Hurfeish also in the Galilee area.

Media attention was focused on the town of Mughar because it has a mixed religious population and due to the 2005 violent tensions in the city. During the intercommunal strife, youths belonging to the........

© Al Monitor