This weekend, a bicycle business in Tayibe, an Arab city in central Israel, was set on fire by suspected Hamas supporters after its owner gave 50 bicycles to victims of Hamas attacks on nearby villages.
Yoseph Haddad, a well-known Arab-Israeli activist, applauded the gift on X, now known as Twitter, which helped spread word of the donation. “An inspiring example of Israeli cooperation: Alaa, an Israeli Arab who runs a bicycle shop in Tayibe, offered to provide 50 pairs of bicycles to the southerners who visited the town of Tzur Yitzhak.
Thank you, Alaa; you exemplify the best of the Israeli spirit! Haddad said in a tweet on Thursday.
Haddad’s tweet, however, drew outrage in Tayibe, a 45,000-person city in the Arab Triangle, a region south of Haifa recognized for its concentration of Arab communities.
Sometime between Friday evening and Saturday morning, the store caught fire. Due to threats against his life, the Tazpit Press Service chose not to publish the store owner’s entire identity.
Haddad then tweeted to his 131,000 followers on Saturday to condemn the attack and to let them know that Alaa was well.
“Israeli Arabs, with their rational voice, have a strong desire to contribute significantly to the civil endeavor and aid the southerners.
Israeli cooperation is precisely what the radical minority in our society fears. They know that the only way to restore control is to terrorize and terrify us, and yesterday they burned down the bicycle shop to do just that,” he said.
Police have detained at least four Tayibe residents for posting on social media that glorified terrorists and incited terrorism since the conflict in southern Israel broke out nine days ago.
According to a police statement, one of the four suspects is a 23-year-old kindergarten teacher.