12-year-old boy seriously burned in suspected arson attack in south

Police say suspects set phone store alight in Hura; child taken to hospital with second- and third-degree burns all over his body; two men in their 20s arrested

Fire at a garage in the southern town of Hura, May 21, 2022. (Screen grab/Kan)
Fire at a garage in the southern town of Hura, May 21, 2022. (Screen grab/Kan)

A 12-year-old boy was seriously wounded on Saturday when a phone store in the southern town of Hura was targeted in a suspected arson attack.

The boy was taken to the Soroka Medical Center in nearby Beersheba with second- and third-degree burns to all parts of his body.

According to police, a number of men arrived at the store in the town in the southern Negev Desert, and set it alight.

The flames then apparently spread to nearby buildings. Police had initially believed that an adjacent automobile repair shop was the target of the attack.

The Kan public broadcaster said it was suspected that the arson attack was part of an ongoing dispute within the Bedouin Al-Qian clan.

Later on Saturday police said two suspects — aged 21 and 25, both also from Hura — were arrested. The pair were to be brought before a Beersheba court on Sunday to request an extension of their remand.

Footage circulated on social media showed thick smoke pouring from buildings.

Arab communities have seen a surge in violence in recent years, driven mainly, but not only, by organized crime. Arab Israelis blame 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.

The community has also suffered from decades of neglect.

In an unrelated incident, two young children died in Hura on Friday after accidentally becoming locked in a car in the Bedouin town.

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