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3 men from same family killed in pair of shootings in north

Attacks around town of Baqa al-Gharbiya bring number of murders in Arab Israeli community to highest toll in 20 years

Illustrative: Police at the scene of a murder in Holon, December 21, 2015. (Moti Karelitz/Flash90)
Illustrative: Police at the scene of a murder in Holon, December 21, 2015. (Moti Karelitz/Flash90)

Two men were shot dead Friday evening after an attacker opened fire on their vehicle outside the Arab Israeli town of Baqa al-Gharbiya, near Haifa. A third man shot in a separate but related attack later died of his wounds.

The first victims were a 65-year-old and his 20-year-old nephew, according to the Haaretz daily. They were pronounced dead by paramedics while en route to the hospital.

They were later identified as Ahmad and Mhammad Sharqiya.

Later in the evening, a 35-year-old relative was shot while standing outside a store in Baqa al-Gharbiya. He was rushed to Hadera’s Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in critical condition and later declared dead by medical staff.

Police opened an investigation into both incidents

The Abraham Initiatives non-profit said after the incident that 93 Arab Israelis have been murdered this year, compared to 89 in 2019 and 71 in 2018. Of this year’s fatalities, 16 were women, and 73 were killed using a firearm, the group said.

Haaretz said this year’s murder tally was the highest single-year toll for Israel’s Arab community in 20 years.

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