Sahar Ismail, the senior adviser of Israel's education minister on Arab affairs, was shot dead near his home in the northern Arab village of Rameh yesterday morning.
"When we arrived at the scene, we saw the wounded man suffering from a penetrating injury to his body. He was unconscious, with no pulse or respiration," medical teams said in a statement. "We performed medical tests, but he was without vital signs and we had no choice but to pronounce him dead."
After defecting from the Likud along with Gideon Saar, 50-year-old Ismail joined the newly formed New Hope election slate led by Saar. He was placed 17th on the party's list in the March election.
Saar described Ismail as a "dear and beloved friend and partner."
Lamenting his death, Israeli Education Minister Shasha-Biton's office said: "The Education Ministry family shares in the heavy grief of the family."
Shasha-Biton's office said that the New Hope party was "shocked and hurt by the murder of our friend Sahar Ismail. A brave and honest leader."
An investigation has been launched by the police.