In a special meeting of leading figures from the Arab sector on Thursday evening, those assembled harshly condemned the murderous attacks at Tel Aviv's Sarona market on Wednesday night in which four Israeli citizens were murdered by two terrorists from Yatta (south of Hebron).
The meeting was held in Taibe in the center of the country, and the attendees were Arab mayors and Jewish tourists. The mayors condemned the Tel-Aviv attack and called for the continuation of good relations between Arabs and Jews, asking that the attacks would not damage the two sectors' coexistence.
Taibe Mayor Shua Mansour Masarwa said at the meeting, "Despite the hard days, we need to deal with the difficulties and to overcome (them). We condemn any act of killing innocent people on both sides. The occupation needs to end so that peace can survive and we will be able to live in peace."
He also said, "(I) call to every moderate person in the country and say to them that it's important for us to denounce and to overcome extremism and hate to continue our lives in the best way and without violence." The mayor added that his city was always open to Jews and Arabs: "Here, we respect each other, and every Jewish or Arab visitor feels at home."
Nasreen Morcus from Sikkuy: The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality came with the group of Jews. She said, "We condemn the attack and oppose associating the month of Ramadan with it. This month is one of spirituality and patience, and what happened in Tel Aviv does not represent Islam. The Sikkuy association is making every effort to promote coexistence in the country."
Mohammed Jubara, a Taibe resident and vice principal of the Ibn Khaldun Elementary School, said that Jews visited the school on Thursday who had come to get to know the city up close. "The attack didn't have a negative effect on the visit, and we carried on as planned. Attacks won't ruin that. All of us want to live alongside Jews and continue the excellent visits."
Nail Zoabi, principal of the Tamra Valley Elementary School and a social activist for co-existence and active citizenship, said that he was repulsed to hear about the attack: "I wondered if there was something more horrible than this—murdering people for no reason? An attack like this deserves to be condemned, but it's not sufficient just to talk; we also have to act.
"We, the citizens of Israel, have a duty to prevent the next attack. An attack on civilians is a red line that must never be crossed. From here, I send my sincere condolences to the families of the murdered, may God strengthen them, and wish a speedy and full recovery to the injured."
He added, "My hope is that the entire Arab leadership in Israel will rise and harshly condemn the attack. I can only hope that we won't see more incidents like it."
Imad, a resident of the Triangle (a central region of the country with a significant Israeli Arab population), said, "We, the Arab citizens, are part of the country of Israel, and we won't accept acts of terrorism that destroy everything for us. This attack won't contribute anything and will only complicate matters and put us in an extremely difficult position. In the end, it's we, the Arabs, who pay the price for an act that we didn't want, that was carried out by two people who, in my opinion, don't deserve air to breathe.
Kfar Kassem resident Adel Badir said, "As citizens of the country, we strongly condemn any active attack against civilians, and we wish a speedy recovery to the injured. These incidents will not change the relations between the two peoples, and we will continue to live in peace."
He continued, "On both sides, there are people who carry out criminal acts, and it shouldn't affect everyone. The Arab population has been hurt more than it hurts, and everybody wants to live a normal life. We are not a party to any conflict."