Daughter of Shfaram deputy mayor killed in car bombing

The daughter of the deputy mayor of the northern town of Shfaram was killed in a car bombing Tuesday evening.

Medics said that when they arrived, the car was on fire and they declared Johara Khnifes, 28, dead on the scene.

Police opened an investigation into the attack and set up roadblocks in the area. There were no arrests made.

A preliminary investigation found that the explosive device was attached to the vehicle.

Her father, Faraj Khnifes, eulogized his daughter and suggested that he may have been the target, although he said he was unaware of any threats against him.

“She was a flower and did no one harm. Maybe he was looking for me, it would have been better if he had gotten me instead,” he told the Kan public broadcaster.

The scene of a car bombing in which Johara Khnifes was killed, June 7, 2022 (Fire and Rescue Services)

“It’s hard to digest, you think you’re in a nightmare. The Middle East is cruel, sometimes people pay a price for no injustice on their part,” he told Army Radio.

“Our hearts are broken, it is difficult for us to be at home without her,” he said in an interview with the Ynet news site. “I am a well-known social and political figure in Arab society, a public figure who has been elected for many years.

“I always help people without hesitation, and also lead a normal life. I did not expect the violence to reach me. I hope the police will find the killers and bring them to justice,” he said.

Johara Khnifes gave an interview last year in which she decried violence in Arab communities.

“The phenomenon of violence is one of the negatives we face, we feel insecure in our society and it hinders our progress in all areas of life and creates fear among members of Arab society,” she told the Arab 48 website in November.

According to Ynet, Johara Khnifes was the granddaughter of Saleh Khnifes, a leader in the Druze community who served the country’s second and third Knessets as a member of the Progress and Work faction, which was associated with Mapai.

Arab communities have seen a surge in violence in recent years, driven mainly, but not only, by organized crime. Arab Israelis blame the police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars, and violence against women.

The community has also suffered from decades of neglect.

Johara Khnifes’s death was the 32nd murder in the Arab community this year, including five women.

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