Four charged in murder of 10-year-old in Bedouin town last month

The defendants, all cousins, indicted for shooting dead Mohammed Abu Huwash in Rahat as part of violent family dispute between two rival clans

Mohammed Abu Huwash (Courtesy)
Mohammed Abu Huwash (Courtesy)

Four people were charged with murder on Sunday in relation to the shooting death of a 10-year-old boy in Rahat last month as part of a long-running family dispute.

Mohammed Abu Huwash, from the southern Bedouin town, was shot dead in April during a clash between the Amdin and Abu Huwash families in the community.

The four defendants — Tisir Amdin,  Ahmad Amdin, Sami Amdin, and Mazen Amdin — all cousins, were indicted on Sunday in the Beersheba District Court for murder, intentionally causing grievous injury, aggravated assault, illegal possession of a firearm, and unlawful discharge of a firearm within a building.

The conflict began after an Amdin family member damaged cars belonging to the Abu Huwash family with his truck. Despite attempts by police and village elders to mediate a resolution to the conflict, the situation escalated into stone-throwing and gunfire targeting each family’s residences.

According to the indictment, the suspects approached the house of a woman originally from their family, who had married into the Abu Huwash family. Tisir Amdin, one of the accused, allegedly threatened her with violence unless she sided with the Amadins in the conflict.

Later that night, the accused reportedly forced their way into the woman’s home armed with sticks and stones, intimidated the occupants, and broke the windows before police arrived to break up the confrontation several hours later.

Rahat in the southern Negev desert on October 7, 2022. (Hazem Bader/AFP)

Several hours later, the accused returned to the home bearing firearms and fired upon the occupants, fatally injuring the young Mohammed and wounding another family member.

Tisir Amdin, a 31-year-old teacher, was arrested shortly after the incident. Ahmad Amdin and Sami Amdin fled the scene and managed to evade police capture for two weeks. Mazen Amdin successfully avoided arrest for a month before being apprehended by police last week.

The Abraham Initiatives, an anti-violence advocacy group, reported that there have been 80 fatalities in violent incidents in Israel’s Arab community since the beginning of the year. This time last year, there were 30 such deaths.

Firearm-related incidents were responsible for 72 of these deaths, with 40 of the deceased being under 30 years of age.

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