'There's no one to stop them; we pay with our lives'

Masked gunmen injure 6 family members, two seriously, at home in northern Arab town

In latest brazen criminal attack, gunmen open fire on relatives in yard before fleeing; woman, 29, and man, 55, are gravely hurt

Police at the scene of a shooting in the northern town of Kafr Kanna, August 26, 2023. (Flash90)
Police at the scene of a shooting in the northern town of Kafr Kanna, August 26, 2023. (Flash90)

Six members of the same family were injured Saturday, two of them seriously, in a shooting in Kafr Kanna in the Galilee.

Two masked gunmen opened fire in a home’s yard before fleeing the scene. Police said a criminal dispute between two families was believed to be the cause.

Preliminary media reports said police had found their car abandoned and burnt.

It was the latest violent crime in the Arab community, which has seen ceaseless shootings since the start of the year and over 150 people killed, with police seemingly powerless to stop the carnage.

Paramedics arrived on the scene shortly after the shooting. The two seriously wounded victims were a 29-year-old woman and a 55-year-old man. Three other victims were designated as being in moderate condition and one was lightly hurt. All were rushed to nearby hospitals.

“Almost every day there’s a shooting and there are injured, and there’s no one to stop the wars. They shoot at businesses and at homes and offices,” one resident told Ynet. “I don’t leave my home because of the shootings. There’s no control and the ones in control are the gunmen. We the innocents get hurt or murdered.”

Another said she took her children and left town following the latest shooting. “There’s no one to tackle it. Not the police commissioner, not the minister and not the police. The shooters walk around free and do whatever they want because they know there’s no one to stop them, and we pay with our lives.”

This past week saw several fatal shootings, including a quadruple homicide in the northern town of Abu Snan Tuesday, and the murder of Tira’s deputy mayor on Monday.

Police have arrested several suspects.

Police at the scene of a shooting in the northern town of Kafr Kanna, August 26, 2023. (Flash90)

All four victims of Tuesday’s shooting belonged to the Druze minority. Druze leaders announced a strike in community institutions on Wednesday and blamed the police and government for the lack of security. In a statement, a community leader placed the blame for the surging crime wave entirely on the Israel Police and the government and appealed to the prime minister to take firm measures to end the violence.

It was one of the deadliest single acts of criminal violence this year, coming two months after five people were killed in a mass shooting at a car wash in Yafa an-Naseriyye.

According to the Abraham Initiatives anti-violence advocacy group, 156 members of Israel’s Arab community have been killed since the start of the year, mostly in shootings. During the same time frame last year, 68 were killed.

The killings are part of a violent crime wave that has engulfed the Arab community in recent years. Many community leaders blame the police, whom 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 root cause of the problem.

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