Dentist shot dead outside his home in northern Arab town, as toll passes last year’s

Dr. Ramiz Abu Asba is 117th fatality this year in spiraling crime wave in Arab community, surpassing the figure for all of 2022 in just over half the time

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

An undated photo of Dr. Ramiz Abu Asba, a dentist who was shot dead in the northern Arab town of Jatt on July 11, 2023. (Social media screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
An undated photo of Dr. Ramiz Abu Asba, a dentist who was shot dead in the northern Arab town of Jatt on July 11, 2023. (Social media screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

A man was shot dead in the northern Arab town of Jatt on Tuesday, as the number of victims of violent crime in the Arab community in 2023 surpassed the figure for all of last year in just over six months.

Paramedics arrived at the home of Dr. Ramiz Abu Asba, a 39-year-old local dentist, to find him lying on his porch, unconscious and lacking vital signs, according to a statement from the Magen David Adom ambulance service.

They declared him dead at the scene.

Police said they had opened an investigation into the suspected murder, and that officers had begun a search for suspects.

It was one of several homicides over the past week in the Arab community. A 23-year-old man was shot dead at a bakery in Nazareth on Saturday, a 55-year-old was shot dead in Qalansawe on Thursday, a 45-year-old man was shot dead in Yarka on Wednesday and a 22-year-old man was shot dead in Arraba last Tuesday.

Since the beginning of 2023, 117 Arabs have been killed in homicides in Israel, according to the Abraham Initiatives organization. Of those, 105 were killed by gunfire. The figure for all of 2022 was 116, with this year’s death toll surpassing that in just over half the time.

Illustrative: The bullet-riddled vehicle of a man who was shot dead in the northern town of Jatt on June 11, 2022. (Police Spokesperson)

Additionally, police and medics said Tuesday that a 28-year-old man was seriously wounded and a 22-year-old man was moderately hurt in a shooting in the southern Bedouin city of Rahat. The two were taken to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba for treatment.

The bloodletting has not been stopped despite the authorities promising more resources, including more police officers and funds, to deal with societal issues underpinning the crime wave.

Many community leaders blame the police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence. They also point to decades of neglect and discrimination by government offices as the primary cause of the problem.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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