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19-year-old killed in brawl in south; suspect arrested

Teenager is fourth fatality of violent crime in Arab Israeli communities since start of 2021

Illustrative. Drijat in southern Israel (Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY SA 3.0 via Amos Meron)
Illustrative. Drijat in southern Israel (Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY SA 3.0 via Amos Meron)

A 19-year-old man was killed in a mass brawl in southern Israel on Saturday night.

A 25-year-old resident of Drijat, where the fight took place, was arrested for the suspected murder of Sa’ab Awadalla Abu Hamed.

According to the Kan public broadcaster, firearms were used in the fight in the Arab Israeli village near Arad, which also saw participants throw rocks.

The brawl was sparked by a property dispute between families, according to the Haaretz daily.

The killing was the fourth in Arab Israeli communities since the start of 2021.

Arab Israelis have long complained of a tide of violent crime in their communities — 2020 saw 96 homicides in the Arab population, representing a 50 percent jump in the murder rate among Arab Israelis in only four years.

Arab parliamentarians and civil society organizations have repeatedly decried the deadly plague of violence in their communities, where firearms and organized crime proliferate. They have accused Israeli authorities of failing to stem the tide of violence.

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