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Man found shot dead in truck in northern town

Police believe killing was part of a feud between two families; checkpoints set up around Tuba-Zangariyye as forces hunt for suspects

The entrance to Tuba-Zangariyye, northern Israel, on January 10, 2021 (David Cohen/Flash90)
The entrance to Tuba-Zangariyye, northern Israel, on January 10, 2021 (David Cohen/Flash90)

A man was found shot dead in a truck in the northern town of Tuba-Zangariyye in the early hours of Monday morning.

Emergency services arrived at the scene and declared the man’s death at around 5 a.m.

He was identified as Samir Omar, 55.

Police said they set up checkpoints in the area and began to carry out searches to look for potential suspects. Officers believe the man was murdered as part of a feud between two families.

The suspected murder in the northern town came amid a spike in violence in the Arab community, with repeated shootings reported in the southern city of Rahat on Saturday and Sunday, targeting multiple homes and businesses, and moderately wounding a teenage girl.

The Rahat shootings are believed to be part of a dispute between the al-Bahiri and al-Ubara families in the town. The predominantly Bedouin town and the surrounding area have for years had a noted lack of police presence and law enforcement and regularly seen lawlessness and unrest.

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said Sunday the rampant violence that plagued Rahat was “intolerable,” and vowed to send in large police forces.

The Rahat shooting came hours after a 33-year-old woman was shot and critically injured outside her home in the Arab town of Qalansawe, east of Netanya on Saturday evening.

Arab communities in Israel 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.

The Arab community has also generally suffered from decades of neglect in terms of government funding and attention.

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