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10-year-old boy among 4 injured in separate shootings in northern Israel

Boy hit in shoulder by stray bullet while sitting at home, hospitalized in moderate condition; 69 Arab Israelis have been killed in crime-related incidents in 2022

Illustrative: Police at the scene of a fatal shooting in the Bedouin city of Rahat, July 21, 2022. (Israel Police)
Illustrative: Police at the scene of a fatal shooting in the Bedouin city of Rahat, July 21, 2022. (Israel Police)

A 10-year-old boy was moderately injured Thursday night in a shooting incident near the Arab town of Ein Mahil in northern Israel, police said.

The boy was one of four people wounded in a spate of crime-related shootings in the Arab community overnight.

According to an initial investigation into the incident, warning shots were fired by armed suspects toward parked vehicles as part of an ongoing feud surrounding financial debts between local criminals.

The boy, who was at home at the time, was hit by a stray bullet in his shoulder, a police statement said. He was evacuated to the Emek Medical Center.

Asaf Manzur, commander of the Nof Hagalil police station, said police have identified “a growing number of shooting incidents due to attempts to collect debts in the grey market.”

He added that “turning to the grey market for loans is a slippery slope. Interest rates are high and once a person is unable to pay back his debt, it quickly grows and leads to violence.”

In a separate incident, two men in their 20s were shot by a local resident in the Arab town of Iksal overnight after attempting to set cars on fire outside a private home, according to police.

They initially escaped to Nazareth and were evacuated later to the hospital in moderate and serious conditions.

Five suspects were arrested by police.

On Thursday evening a 26-year-old man was seriously hurt in Daburiyya in northern Israel in yet another shooting incident, which according to police was also the result of a criminal feud.

Arab communities have seen a surge in violence in recent years. Many blame the police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars, and violence against women.

According to the Abraham Initiatives, a group campaigning against violence in the Arab community, 69 Israeli Arabs have been killed in crime-related incidents since the beginning of the year. Among the 69 victims, 57 were shot and 41 were younger than 30.

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