Arab woman who lost sons, husband, awaits justice

'Netanyahu didn't keep his word,' says Siham Aghrbayia whose sons, husband were murdered. She claims PM promised to help her after hearing her heartbreaking story, but failed to do so. PMO: Netanyahu asked his top Arab aide to assist her

Siham Aghrbayia, from Umm al-Fahm, lost her husband and two of her sons at the hands of armed assailant some some two years ago, and according to her, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not doing enough to help, despite personally promising her to do so.


In February 2012 Aghrbayia participated in a Knesset discussion on "Civilian Terror in Arab Society" in which Netanyahu was taking part. After hearing her speak, Netanyahu attempted to console her for her loss, and said "our heart breaks from hearing Siham's story," but since that fateful day, the widow claims, the prime minister failed to personally follow the case, despite promising otherwise.


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During the Knesset plenum meeting last year, Aghrbayia spoke of the helpless state she finds herself in after the loss of her family members. "I never used to close the door of my house, I felt safe until the incident happened. Since then, I have no sense of personal safety, not for myself and not for my children," she told the Knesset floor, bursting into tears.


Aghrbayia, earlier this week (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)
Aghrbayia, earlier this week (Photo: Hassan Shaalan)

In wake of her breakdown, Netanyahu attempted to console her and said "we can and must do something about this." Upon leaving, Netanyahu turned to her again, this time approaching her and physically consoling her as well as exchanging a few personal words with Aghrbayia.



Two years ago, her husband, Taufik, 54, and her two sons, Ahmen, 15, and Muhammad, 21, were killed by masked gunmen who entered their house. A week ago, Aghrbayia sent a letter to the Prime Minister's Office, and then came to grips with the fact that the office and prime minister had completely forgotten about her personal story.


"The woman (who returned my call) asked me questions that testified to the office's lack of memory of the murder. Last year the prime minister spoke with me and promised to follow the case personally until the killers are caught. He also asked that his secretary take my phone number so they could contact me. I thought he was serious and would keep his word. I thought he would take care of me because I am an Israeli citizen. But it seems he has forgotten me," Aghrbayia said.


Since her tragedy, Aghrbayia and her three children have left their home in Umm al-Fahm and moved in with relatives in the area. "Our lives are no longer normal, everywhere we go family members come with us. My youngest boy, an 8-year-old, goes to school with a chaperon, he is even afraid to get up and get water on his own during the night."


In response, the Prime Minister's Office said "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has requested that Iman Saif, head of the Authority for the Economic Development of the Arab, Druze and Circassian Sectors at the office, will assist her to push the case forward. Saif has been in direct and ongoing contact with the police who are currently in the midst of a strenuous investigation.


In response, the police said that "we feel the family's pain. Two special investigation teams were formed to solve this murder. The work of these teams has led to the arrest of a number of suspects which were freed by the courts. Nonetheless, the investigation is still ongoing and has yet to be resolved."



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פרסום ראשון: 11.04.13, 14:17
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