A number of videos circulating on social media claim to show Palestinian Authority Arabs living in Hebron hunting dogs, hanging them, and shooting them to death.
The driving force behind this trend is a statement by Hebron mayor Tayssir Abu Sneinah that, "Anyone who kills a dog or hands us a stray or dead dog, we are ready to compensate him with 20 shekels." It should be noted that Abu Sneinah is a convicted terrorist appointed to the position by the Palestinian Authority.
Considerable criticism was directed at Abu Sneinah, and he retracted his statement and claimed that his words had been misunderstood. Abu Sneinah claims he did not call for the killing of dogs, and that his statement was meant to be an idea for dealing with the stray dogs that have become a nuisance to his city's residents. Kan reports that the mayor claimed "it was meant as a humorous statement," and that he meant it as an idea to be brought for a discussion in the city council.
"Stray dogs are a danger to children on the streets, there have been cases where children have been injured, the dogs cause damage, and hundreds of residents have contacted me asking to solve the problem. The statement was taken out of context, I presented it as an idea in an attempt to find solutions, as they solved the wild boar problem in other countries," said Abu Sneinah.
The association "Let Animals Live" tried to stop the mass killing of the dogs, and commented: "This is a shocking case, which needs to be stopped immediately. Dogs are creatures with feelings, they are not part of a shooting range, it makes no sense to shoot them just like that in the street, and for everyone to be silent about it. We have to remember that shooting at stray dogs is unfortunately allowed in Israel. It's time to stop shooting at dogs and move to a humane solution of neutering, vaccinating, and returning the dogs to the wild."
The Palestinian animal rights association Baladi has offered a reward of 50 NIS to any person who will take care of a street dog, provide it with food and report to the association so that an appropriate solution can be found for the dog.
Israel has demanded that the Palestinian Authority act to end this trend, but there has been limited success in controlling it thus far. The story has spread to international media as well, where it sparked a similar wave of condemnation and calls for the mayor to leave office.
Kan reports that dog hunting has drawn residents of other Palestinian localities to the Hebron area in search of easy money. The trend has brought on protests from local residents, advocating for a solution that will be more humane for the dogs and safer for humans near where the shootings are taking place.
One of the videos in question can be seen below. The firearms used are of a kind generally illegal in Israel, save for specific permits by the Nature and Parks Authority and the Israel Police.