The arrest of the suspects in the attempted assassination of a businessman in Acre in April 2023 (Credit: Investigation file)
"Once we have reached this situation, our sovereign fails and is supposed to draw conclusions and resign. Everyone should go home. The prime minister, the minister of national security, the police commissioner – everyone. They are responsible for the security of citizens. Security is not only with those across the border. First of all, our internal security." Says Yousef Salem of Acre, who lost his 24-year-old son Hamada Salem last month when he was murdered under the building where the family lives. This murder has already sparked revenge, in Dubai.
"Hamada was probably being monitored," Father Yousef describes in an interview with Walla! In the shadow of the 100 murdered in the Arab sector. "He pulled into the corner parking lot that was reserved for him in the parking lot of our building. He turned off the car and then two or three guys surrounded him, they shot him, then made a killing confession and left in an escape vehicle. They described the video that documented all this, but I didn't want to see it. I'm also a father and I have feelings and I didn't want to develop feelings of revenge, because I believe in the rule of law. But a failed regime plunges people into a whirlpool of revenge."
Hamada Salem and the tattoo that caused him to be murdered in Acre (Photo: photo processing, Walla system!)
Hamada Salem, a sports teacher, grew up as a normative and positive child in a normative and positive home. Father Yusef Salem is working on his doctorate. Hamada graduated from Katzenelson High School in Nahariya and then completed his A.B. studies from the Galilee Academic College and completed a specialization in teaching physical education at the Wingate Institute. He had already completed his stag as a teacher for children two through nine at the Katzenelson School, and Wingate's diploma, which he was supposed to receive next week, reached his parents after his death. Dozens of letters from his students have been sent to parents, who are about to include them in a book they are producing in his memory.
"Innocent students, free of politics and racism, who tell wonderful things about my son, as a teacher, as a counselor, as a coach, that even I didn't know," his father says. "He was a 25-year-old young man, smiling, assertive, sports enthusiast, he was a soccer player in Beitar Nahariya. The team knew him as a leader." Hamada was the youngest son in the family, his older sister a doctor, his brother a taxi driver. The family originated from the Old City of Acre, which they left after marriage in order to improve living conditions.
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Hamada Salam, who was murdered under his home in Acre, with his father, mother and sister (Photo: courtesy of the family)
"When he finished high school, and before he entered university, he worked in a clothing store and met people we knew from the past when we lived in the Old City. Among them, there was a former student of mine named Hosni Ruba'i, a very respectful student," the father says of how the sports teacher was targeted for murder. "They went to Thailand together, celebrated and took pictures. Three years later, this guy was murdered. Hamada tattooed his picture and the date of the murder on his arm. That's how Hamada was flagged by another group that killed Hosni. It's no secret that Acre has become a battleground between two families, and because of their friendship, Hamada got caught up in this turbulence as a target."
"The officer and the police officer who came here cried with us. They have no tools and no ability. Should I help them locate where there are cameras? Draw conclusions? I really feel sorry for them," the father continued. "We live within a single political framework called the State of Israel, and the sovereign has governmental authority and responsibility to protect his citizens. I am not saying this as a parent, but as a teacher who is the father of a teacher who was unfortunately murdered. I call on all levels from the prime minister down to resign because of the situation we have reached. Any civilized country would not tolerate such violence. A prime minister is not an actor who is asked to appear in English in the international media. A prime minister must first and foremost be the father of his citizens, a good father who does not dress in suits and goes out to celebrate with friends. A good father first feeds and protects his children. If a prime minister doesn't take care of this, he has no legitimacy to continue sitting in power."
The scene of the murder (Photo: MDA)
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"Those who murdered my son are also miserable," says the bereaved father. "They are the result of racist, unequal policies in education, employment, inaction, lack of master plans and industrial zones, illegal weapons and failure of law enforcement. We no longer believe in our ability to influence here in Israel. We have reached a point where we need to cry out to the international community to come and defend us. It's a big blow to the country what's happening here. Look in Dubai how they caught the people in a matter of hours."
"It's not just a bloody cycle," he adds. "This cycle will break through and reach Jewish society. This is a civil war and they will kill each other. The media also has a responsibility, as soon as you say 'known to the police,' others are blocked from coming and joining us in a democratic struggle to expose this government's failures in its policies and influence it to stand up and act according to its responsibility."
"We are publishing a book about him in Hebrew, addressed to Jewish society, called 'Hamada, my teacher was murdered - why?' so that every citizen of Israel will ask this question. Was he murdered because there is violence in our society, even though we don't see that level of violence in Jordan or the Palestinian Authority? Is it because we live at a low socioeconomic level? Is it because of policy? Because if it's because of a policy, then we live under a racist policy, a policy that wants to get good people to emigrate from here. Hamada, who was about to leave this summer, and I helped him with my connections in Germany, was also supposed to start working in August."
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