3 men killed in suspected drive-by shooting near central city of Lod
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3 men killed in suspected drive-by shooting near central city of Lod

Shooting victims named as Nahad al-Shamali, Riad Akashi and Jibril Akashi; police said probing if incident related to dispute between crime families in Ramle

Police at the scene of a suspected drive-by shooting at the Lod Interchange in central Israel on June 6, 2020. (Flash90)
Police at the scene of a suspected drive-by shooting at the Lod Interchange in central Israel on June 6, 2020. (Flash90)

Three men were shot dead Saturday in a suspected drive-by shooting at the Lod Interchange in central Israel.

Police said officers found the men, all residents of the nearby city of Ramle, with gunshot wounds in a car at the junction. They were pronounced dead on the scene.

The three were named as Nahad al-Shamali, 28, Riad Akashi, 40, and Jibril Akashi, 28.

An initial probe indicated they were fired at from moving vehicle, police said, adding the incident was not terror-related.

The car used to carrying out the shooting was later found burned near Palmachim Beach, according to the Ynet news site.

There were no immediate reports of arrests.

The scene of a suspected drive-by shooting at the Lod Interchange in central Israel on June 6, 2020. (Flash90)

Police are investigating whether the shooting was connected to a dispute between crime families in Ramle’s Jawarish neighborhood, the Haaretz daily reported.

Two of the men had no criminal history, while the other was the relative of a Ramle resident murdered in March in the coastal city of Netanya, the newspaper said.

“The shocking murder in Lod again exposes the failure of law enforcement authorities in dealing with crime and violence in Arab society,” tweeted MK Yousef Jabareen of the predominantly-Arab Joint List party.

He added: “The criminals feel they have a free hand to act as long as the victims are Arabs. The time has come to end ‘the autonomy’ that has allowed criminal elements to terrorize Arab society for years.”

Recent years have seen an increase in killings and gun crime in the Arab Israeli community. Arab leaders say police largely ignore the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars, domestic violence and so-called honor killings.

A number of demonstrations and large rallies have been held to protest what Arab Israelis say is a failure to adequately deal with the wave of criminal violence within the community.

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