Man, 60, shot dead in Lod in suspected organized crime slaying

Yusef Abu Ghanem killed on his way to morning prayers, a month after his cousin was slain in same city

Screen capture from video of the scene where a man was shot dead in Lod, May 17, 2023. (Israel Police)
Screen capture from video of the scene where a man was shot dead in Lod, May 17, 2023. (Israel Police)

A man was shot dead in Lod Wednesday morning in what the Israel Police said was apparently an organized crime killing, the latest incident in a wave of deadly violence surging through the Arab community.

He was identified as Yusef Abu Ghanem, 60, a resident of the city.

Abu Ghanem was on his way to morning prayers at a mosque when he was shot, reports said.

Police forensic teams arrived to search for clues at the scene of the shooting.

Magen David Adom emergency services were alerted to the shooting in the early hours of the morning. Medics found Abu Ghanem with no vital signs and attempted resuscitation while rushing him to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, where doctors declared him dead.

Abu Ghanem’s cousin Hamza Abu Ghanem was shot dead a month ago, also in Lod.

Seventy-nine members of the Arab community have been killed in violent incidents since the beginning of the year, according to the Abraham Initiatives watchdog. That compares to just 30 over the same period last year, it said.

Of those killed, 71 were shot dead, the group noted.

Only eight of the homicides have been solved, Ynet reported.

On Sunday Dima Bushnak, 19, was shot in her car near her home in the Bedouin village some 17 kilometers (10 miles) north of Nazareth in the Upper Galilee. Family members told the Ynet news site that Bushnak had been receiving threats over her lifestyle. “They did not want her to work or study,” a relative told the outlet.

Last Friday, two men were shot dead in separate incidents within hours of each other. A 26-year-old was shot in the northern city of Nazareth and rushed to a hospital in critical condition but died of his injuries.

Nationwide, over 90 suspected murders have taken place since the start of 2023, more than double last year’s rate, which itself was higher than previous years.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, a far-right lawmaker who campaigned on promises to beef up public safety, has largely stayed quiet on the soaring crime wave.

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