Those who assumed that the Umm al-Fahm funeral of Arab Israeli Ahmed Mohammed Hamid, killed while attempting to stab an Israeli police officer in Jerusalem, would adhere to the restrictions set by the Israel Police and not turn into a festival of incitement, were incredibly naive.
Much like the funerals of other terrorists who came from the northern Israeli town, Hamid’s was led by members of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, who incited the 1,000-strong crowd to riot.
Outlawed in 2015, the Northern Branch and its proxies continue to operate unhindered throughout Israel, and they have made Umm al-Fahm the center of their operations. There, the municipality and residents give them all the support they need to disseminate their anti-Israel hatred and propaganda.
This is also why no one is surprised by the fact that the majority of Israeli Arab terrorists come from Umm al-Fahm.
It must be said that Hamid’s family stressed they condemn violence and terrorism, saying he was mentally unstable, and it was unlikely that his actions were nationalistically motivated. Still, the family has demanded an investigation into his killing, saying the police did not have to use lethal force to neutralize him.
The police also erred when they decided to hold on to Hamid’s body on the eve of Eid al-Adha (the Festival of Sacrifice) while posing nearly impossible conditions for the family to bury their son. This only agitated the situation on the ground, as Umm al-Fahm’s residents rallied to the family’s aid and helped them raise the 50,000-shekel ($14,000) bond the police demanded they deposit as a guarantee the conditions set for the funeral would be met.
The family’s mixed emotions were best put by one relative, who said Northern Branch operatives came to the funeral—where they launched fireworks, fired in the air and called for revenge—“To give a show after they contributed to the bond payment. Had the police simply released the body for burial without preconditions, none of this would have happened. There is no honor in a funeral where people launch fireworks.”