A senior official for Arab affairs in the Education Ministry and a member of the New Hope party was shot dead on Sunday outside his home in in the village of Rameh in the Galilee.
Sahar Ismail, an advisor to Gideon Saar and 17th on his New Hope party's election slate, was recently appointed by Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton as senior advisor to the Arab sector.
Emergency medical services pronounced him dead on the scene and the police launched a murder investigation.
"The minister was dismayed to receive the news of the murder and is in constant contact with the family," Sasha-Biton's office said in a statement. "The Education Ministry shares the grief of the victim's family."
Rameh Mayor Shauki Latif told Ynet the community was shocked by the murder. "I cannot fathom why he was murdered," he said, adding that Rameh had seen a decline in the violence that has been plaguing the Arab sector, after peace was restored between warring clans.
"An honorable man was brutally murdered this morning and I am at a loss as to why. There can be no justification for this," he said.
Latiff also said that the police should not be blamed for the murder and "could not be expected to be everywhere at all times. We must look inwardly at our own communities and reach our own conclusions," he said.
Ismail was a member of the Likud central committee in Rameh and resigned when Saar left opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu's party to form the New Hope faction ahead of March 23 elections.
Saar for his part said Ismail was a dear and beloved friend and partner. "He was a kind hearted man who loved the country. A honest and courageous leader and a true friend," Saar said.
"I struggle to think I will never see his smile again after seeing him just yesterday. I am sure the police will find the cowardly assailants and bring them to justice."