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Gunman opens fire at Kafr Qasim mourning event, injuring five

Violent incident comes shortly after apparently unrelated deadly shooting in nearby Arab city; minister calls attack an ‘attempted massacre’

People run for cover as a gunman opens fire at a mourning gathering in the central Arab city of Kafr Qasim, July 22, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)
People run for cover as a gunman opens fire at a mourning gathering in the central Arab city of Kafr Qasim, July 22, 2022. (Screenshot: Twitter)

An unidentified gunman opened fire at a mourning gathering in the central Arab city of Kafr Qasim on Friday night, injuring five people.

Police said officers have opened an investigation into the shooting, which came shortly after a deadly shooting in the nearby city of Tira.

The five victims, one listed in moderate condition and the other four in light condition, were taken to the Beilinson Medical Center in Petah Tikva.

“We opened a mourning tent after my mother’s death,” Banan Taha told the Ynet news site. “Yesterday we heard noises, and at first we thought it was fireworks, but after a few seconds, we realized that they were shooting at us. We don’t know who did it and what was their goal.”

No arrests were immediately made.

Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej, who lives in Kafr Qasim, said on Twitter that the gathering was just some 300 meters from the local police station.

“Total chaos, a terrorist attack in the full sense of the word. An attempted massacre,” he said.

Earlier Friday night, a man was killed and his son and nephew were seriously wounded in a shooting in the nearby city of Tira.

The killing was the latest incident of deadly violence in the Arab Israeli community that has claimed dozens of lives since the beginning of the year.

The fatality was identified as Mohand Araki, 40, also from the Arab-majority city in central Israel.

According to the Abraham Initiatives organization, a non-government group campaigning against violence in the Arab community, Araki was the 60th victim to die in the Arab community in Israel since the beginning of 2022 in violent circumstances, most of them in shootings.

Unidentified attackers opened fire on Araki while he was in his car, killing him and severely injuring his 10-year-old son and his 6-year-old nephew. Police were searching for the perpetrators and evidence.

Arab communities have seen a surge in 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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