2 shot dead in suspected gangland killing in north

Two suspects reportedly arrested after shooting in Deir al-Asad; incident brings to 17 the number of Arab Israelis killed violently in February

Illustrative: Israel Police investigate the scene of a crime on June 2, 2021. (Israel Police)
Illustrative: Israel Police investigate the scene of a crime on June 2, 2021. (Israel Police)

Two residents were shot dead Sunday in the northern Arab town of Dir Al Assad, in a slaying believed tied to an ongoing feud in the criminal underworld.

The deaths bring to 17 the number of Arab Israelis killed in violent incidents since the beginning of the month, making it one of the deadliest periods in recent years.

The Magen David Adom emergency service reported its medics attended to two men, one of whom, age 60, was declared dead at the scene. The second man, 57, was taken to the hospital in serious condition but doctors were unable to save his life.

Shortly after the shooting, police, with the assistance of a helicopter, detained two suspects.

According to police, the shooting was related to a dispute between criminal organizations, Ynet reported. The long-running feud has already cost the lives of 16 people over the years.

The deaths came a day after an Arab Israeli man was shot dead in the coastal city of Jaffa adjoining Tel Aviv. He was identified as Hassan Abu Seif, 35, a resident of the city.

Last Wednesday Rami Kati, 28, was shot dead in the northern Arab town of Deir Hanna. He was declared dead at the scene by medics. The next day, Nidal Sarsour, 30, was found dead in an abandoned building in the central mixed Arab-Jewish city of Lod. He was reportedly shot dead.

According to the anti-violence campaign group the Abraham Initiatives, 25 Arabs have been killed by violence and crime since the start of the year. Of those, 23 were Israeli citizens, and two were Palestinians from East Jerusalem or the surrounding region.

One of those who died was injured last year but died of his wounds in 2023.

By comparison, in the same period of 2022, there were 15 deaths among Arabs.

Arab communities have seen a rising wave of violence in recent years. Many blame the 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.

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