Sarit Ahmed, also known as Sarit Shakour, an 18-year-old queer Druze woman, died after being shot multiple times while sitting in her car in Northern Israel, in a killing allegedly motivated by her sexual orientation.
Ahmed was found lying in the street near Yarka, with multiple gunshot wounds to her upper body on Friday (9 June), according to Israeli emergency services. After being taken to Galilee Medical Centre in Israel's Northern District, Ahmed was pronounced dead.
Ahmed's Brothers were Previously Jailed for Threatening to Kill Her
The 18-year-old had previously received death threats from her brothers due to her queer identity. In 2020, Ahmed filed a complaint against two of her brothers, claiming they had made explicit threats on her life.
The two brothers were convicted of threatening her life and jailed for three and four months, while Ahmed was placed in a shelter for at-risk young women. According to the verdict, her brothers found out that Ahmed was not heterosexual and knew about a relationship she had had which was "contrary to the family's opinion and what was accepted."
Ahmed then returned to the family home but soon complained of receiving threats against her life again. In October 2020, Ahmed's eldest brother took her mobile phone and it was on the device that he found more information about her sexual orientation.
Ahmed's Brothers Told Her to Drink Poison, Threatened to Stab Her in the Stomach
Walla reported that Ahmed's eldest brother advised her to "drink poison, it's better for you", while the younger brother threatened to stab her "in the stomach with a knife, and then I will go drink beer – as if nothing had happened".
Ahmed's phone was confiscated by her father and oldest brother, and she was barred from leaving the house unless accompanied by a family member. This situation lasted for over a month, as outlined in the indictment, until Ahmed ran away and filed a complaint against her brother.
She was again removed from her home and placed in a shelter as a high-risk case. Ahmed then left the facility to live with her sister in another village.
Ahmed Asked for Police Protection 3 Weeks Ago After Receiving Death Threats
After a period living in a shelter for her safety, Ahmed decided to live with her sister, but just three weeks ago, she approached police and asked for protection, as she feared for her life once again.
Police have so far not made any arrests and no formal suspects have been identified. Ahmed's killing has raised concerns about the lack of protection for LGBTQ+ Arabs in Israel.