The Palestinian mayor of Hebron has called for residents in the West Bank city to kill stray dogs in exchange for a cash reward.
Mayor Tayseer Abu Sneineh proposed the bounty of 20 shekels, or $5.50 USD, during a radio broadcast earlier this week, as a possible solution to the city’s overpopulation of strays which he said were “haunting the lives of Hebron residents,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
At least some city dwellers took the order to heart, and social media was soon flooded with images of stray dogs being killed or tortured.
Abu Sneineh was sentenced to life in prison along with three others for his involvement in a terrorist attack in Hebron in 1980 which left six students dead, including two American citizens. He and his conspirators were later released as part of prisoner exchanges.
Abu Sneineh has served as the city mayor since 2017.
The doggie death notices immediately drew protests from local animal rights activists. The Animal and Environment Association in Bethlehem — the only animal shelter in the West Bank — denounced the move.
“This bloody campaign resulted in killing many dogs, [by] shooting, hanging, abusing, running over them by cars,” they wrote in a statement posted to Facebook. “What happened today is beyond humanity and ethics. No religion would accept such barbaric actions toward innocent animals.”