6 arrested after overnight rioting in northern town

2 Border Police officers wounded in Umm al-Fahm car-ramming; 1 suspect shot dead

Officers in light-to-moderate condition; troops on scene open fire toward vehicle; attack comes hours after gunfire, arson in Arab town in apparent revenge for murder of resident

The car used in a ramming attack on Border Police in Umm al-Fahm, December 3, 2021 (Israel Police)
The car used in a ramming attack on Border Police in Umm al-Fahm, December 3, 2021 (Israel Police)

Two Border Police officers were injured in a car-ramming in Umm al-Fahm on Friday morning, after a night of violence in the northern Arab town following the murder of a resident.

Police said in a statement that one of the officers was in a light-to-moderate condition, while the second was lightly hurt.

Officers on the scene opened fire toward the vehicle used in the attack, which had two occupants.

Medics later confirmed the death of one of the suspects, a man in his 20s. The second suspect was lightly hurt and arrested on the scene, police said.

Security officials believe there was a criminal motive behind the ramming rather than nationalist, and that it was connected to disputes between families in the town.

The suspects were known to police, and officers said they found a gun in the vehicle when they carried out a search.

The gun police said they found in the car used in a ramming attack on Border Police in Umm al-Fahm, December 3, 2021 (Israel Police)

Border Police were carrying out operations in the town after overnight violence following the murder of a 33-year-old man there on Thursday.

Large volleys of gunfire were reported in the town’s Aghbariya neighborhood overnight, and multiple buildings were set aflame in apparent revenge for the killing.

Building on fire during rioting in Umm al-Fahm, December 2, 2021 (Screen grab/Walla)

Police were scrambled to the scene in large numbers along with firefighting teams.

Six people were arrested in connection with the violence, police said Friday morning.

The violence erupted after resident Mohammed Hamzeh Burghel was killed in a shooting attack on a vehicle early Thursday morning, the latest killing in an unprecedented crime wave that has wracked the Arab community.

A second man was seriously injured in the attack.

The driver apparently lost control of the vehicle as a result of the shooting and crashed into an oncoming truck, though no one in the truck was injured.

Scene of a shooting in the northern Arab Israeli town of Umm Al-Fahm, December 2, 2021. (Israel Police)

Police said that on Thursday night rioters surrounded the house of a family believed to be connected to the shooting before forces dispersed the crowd.

According to the Abraham Initiatives nonprofit, the shooting was the 117th homicide in the Arab community this year, by far an all-time record. Of those killed, 98 were Arab citizens of Israel and 19 were Palestinians.

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

Arab Israelis say police 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 August, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that violence and crime in Arab Israeli communities was a “national calamity.”

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