Israeli man shot dead in East Jerusalem refugee camp; police say not terror

Incident comes as violent crime skyrockets, with some 90 suspected murders taking place since beginning of year

Illustrative: A police car at the scene of a crime. (Israel Police)
Illustrative: A police car at the scene of a crime. (Israel Police)

An Israeli man was shot dead in the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, police and medics said Thursday.

Magen David Adom said that medics took the man, in his mid-50s and suffering critical wounds, to the Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital while trying to resuscitate him.

Doctors were forced to declare the man dead shortly after arrival.

Police said they were investigating the incident and that the motive was likely not terror.

Recent days have seen a dramatic spike in killings throughout the country, with some 15 suspected murders since the start of April. Over 90 suspected murders have taken place since the beginning of the year — more than double the rate of last year — with the vast majority of victims being Arab.

According to the most recent data from the Abraham Initiatives, a group that campaigns against violence, there have been 74 Arabs killed in violent circumstances since the beginning of the year. The watchdog said 66 of them were killed by gunfire.

President Isaac Herzog on Monday decried the dramatic surge in homicides and violent crime as an “epidemic” plaguing Israel.

Speaking hours after a young Arab mother was shot dead in Haifa as part of a suspected criminal dispute, Herzog said Israel was in a “time of emergency” and called the killings a “strategic challenge” for the country.

Herzog also called on the government and all official bodies involved in the matter “to convene urgently for emergency deliberations, sit together, make decisive and resolute decisions, stop with the concerns and excuses, act with all tools and lead an uncompromising all-out war that will eradicate this threat.”

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