Unknown assailants fired 17 bullets in the early hours of Monday towards the home of an imam in Lod. There were no casualties and the structure sustained minor damage.
Police forces arrived at the location and initiated an investigation, though no suspects have been arrested. Yusuf Al-Baz, the imam of the largest mosque in Lod, is a well-known figure in the Arab sector. He received hundreds of visitors during the course of the day, which had come to express their support.
Sheikh Al-Baz stated that he heard shots around 5 am. "I came out to see what was happening and discovered the gunfire was directed towards my home. Thank Allah that it ended without casualties," he said.
Bullet holes in imam's house (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)
The imam noted that he did not know who was behind the incident: "This is the first time this happened to me, I didn't expect it. I have never hurt others; I have good relations with everyone in society. I always try to help people and raise awareness regarding the increased incidence of violence."
The incident surprised many Lod residents. "I couldn't believe it when I first heard of the gunfire, I am sure it is a matter of jealousy," said one resident, "All of the city's denizens know and respect him and believe in his pure conduct. He always warned against the increase in violence. I am saddened that he has become its victim."
The Islamic Movement's representatives in Israel's
northern region denounced the incident: "Sheikh Al-Baz is a respected man who donates to society from the bottom of his heart. You always see him at the forefront of public causes. There is no man in the city who doesn't know him and his good deeds."
A senior spokesman in the movement added: "It is unfortunate that there are those who try to hurt good men without cause. Those people have no place in society."