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17-year-old boy killed by gunfire during mass brawl in southern town

Idris Abu al-Qian shot during fight involving hundreds of members of an extended family in Hura; police investigate potential connection to ongoing feud within clan

Idris Abu al-Qian (Courtesy)
Idris Abu al-Qian (Courtesy)

A 17-year-old boy was killed by gunfire in Hura in the early hours of Tuesday, the second act of severe violence involving a child to take place in the southern town within days.

Idris Abu al-Qian was shot during a mass brawl involving hundreds of members of an extended family in the Bedouin town, according to a statement issued by police.

He was taken to Soroka Medical Center in nearby Beersheba in critical condition, where doctors pronounced his death.

Border Police forces made their way to the scene in an attempt to restore order as violence escalated, police said.

Police held a situation assessment and said they had opened an investigation into the shooting.

This is the second violent incident to involve a minor in Hura within recent days.

Police commander of the Negev region Nachshon Nagler, right, and other police officlas hold a situation assessment in the Bedouin town of Hura following the death of 17-year-old Idris Abu al-Qian, May 24, 2022. (Israel Police)

On Saturday, a 12-year-old boy was seriously hurt in a suspected arson attack believed to be connected to the ongoing violent feud within the Abu al-Qian clan.

Issa Najah Abu al-Qian suffered second- and third-degree burns all over his body from a fire at a phone store in the southern Bedouin town, which was allegedly torched Saturday by several men.

It was not immediately clear if the two incidents were connected or if the two boys were related.

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

The Soroka Medical Center said Sunday that Issa Najah Abu al-Qian was in critical condition and faced a continued threat to his life.

The boy’s uncle, meanwhile, has tried to deny reports indicating the attack may have been part of an ongoing dispute within the Abu al-Qian extended family.

“We’re from a different part [of the clan]. This could also have happened to a boy from Beersheba who came to fix his phone,” Salim Issa told Army Radio on Sunday.

Police have arrested three residents of Hura in their 20s suspected of torching the shop.

View of Hura in the Negev Desert on August 27, 2015 (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The violent feud in the Abu al-Qian clan has been ongoing for years. Two years ago, 26-year-old Sahar Abu al-Qian was killed in Hura during a quarrel that took a violent turn and involved several factions within the Abu al-Qian clan.

According to data released by the Abraham Initiatives NGO on Tuesday, 31 Arab Israelis have lost their lives in incidents involving violence and crime in 2022 so far, 23 of whom were shot dead.

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.

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