Umm al-Fahm mayor resigns, backtracks, after post on ISIS-inspired gunmen

i24NEWS

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Israeli-Arabs protest against violence, organized crime, and recent killings among their communities, in the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, Israel, October 22, 2021.
Jamal Awad/Flash90Israeli-Arabs protest against violence, organized crime, and recent killings among their communities, in the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, Israel, October 22, 2021.

'The mayor came out with strong messages opposing any violence... or support for ISIS'

The mayor of Umm al-Fahm - the hometown of two Arabs who shot and killed two Border Police officers in the northern Israeli city of Hadera this week - resigned on Thursday after coming under fire for a Facebook post of condolences to the attackers’ families.

Hours later, though, Mayor Samir Mahameed walked back on his resignation after supporters urged him not to make the drastic move.

Mahameed told Kan public broadcaster that the post “was issued by mistake, and it shouldn’t have happened.”

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The original Facebook post was retracted about an hour after it was posted, Haaretz reported.

"I understand all those who are angry… I take full responsibility, and if I have to resign I will… If good will come out of my resignation I will resign," the mayor said on live TV. 

“I'm leaving this position with great pain.”

In the original statement, the Umm al-Fahm council said the mayor and the city were “saddened” by the deaths of Ibrahim and Ayman Agbarieh. 

“We hope that Allah will have mercy on them and forgive them,” it added.

Ibrahim had tried to join the Islamic State, according to Israeli officials.

Video poster

"We condemn the crime committed in Hadera," Mahameed said, adding that he encourages Jewish-Arab coexistence.

Before Mahameed resigned, the municipality stated on its Facebook page that the post “wasn’t approved, and does not reflect the mayor’s opinions… This is a serious mistake.”

"The mayor and the whole city came out with strong messages opposing any violence, let alone murder of innocent people or support for ISIS. We share the pain felt by the victims' families and send our deepest condolences."

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