Lod man shot dead, in day’s second Arab community slaying

Hussein Issawi, 43, killed in apparent dispute between criminal gangs; two more suspects arrested in killing of child on playground, bringing total to four

Illustrative: Medics and security forces are seen at the scene of the shooting in Lod, on June 27, 2021. (Courtesy)
Illustrative: Medics and security forces are seen at the scene of the shooting in Lod, on June 27, 2021. (Courtesy)

A 43-year-old man was shot dead in Lod, becoming the day’s second homicide victim in the Arab community along with a four-year-old boy who was struct by a bullet in the northern village of Bir al-Maksur hours earlier.

Hebrew media said the Lod incident appeared to be part of a dispute between criminal gangs.

The victim, Hussein Issawi, managed to check himself in to the Shamir Medical Center where doctors pronounced him dead shortly thereafter.

Police opened an investigation into the killing and had launched a manhunt while collecting evidence at the scene.

Issawi and four-year-old Ammar Muhammad Hujayrat were the first fatalities from Arab community violence in 2022, after a particularly bloody 2021.

According to the Abraham Initiatives, which monitors and campaigns against violence in the Arab community, 126 Arab Israelis were killed in 2021 as a result of violence and crime, of which 62 were below the age of 30, and 16 of them were women.

Police said late Thursday that two residents of Bir al-Maksur had been arrested Thursday in connection with the fatal shooting of Hujayrat, on top of two others arrested shortly after the killing.

Hujayrat was at a playground when he was shot. Police said it was believed he was hit by stray gunfire from a construction site some 300 meters (984 feet) away.

An unnamed eyewitness told Channel 12 that the boy was shot in front of his mother.

Ammar Muhammad Hujayrat. (Courtesy)

Arab communities have seen a surge in violence in recent years, driven mainly, but not exclusively, by organized crime.

Arab Israelis blame 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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