Man killed, 2 seriously wounded in Nazareth as Arab crime wave continues to grow

According to Abraham Initiatives NGO, pace of deaths by violent crime in Arab community have now surpassed rate of 2023, the deadliest year on record

A view of the city Nazareth northern Israel, March 25, 2024. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
A view of the city Nazareth northern Israel, March 25, 2024. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

A 23-year-old man in the northern city of Nazareth was shot and killed early Friday, and two others — aged 21 and 24 — were seriously injured, Hebrew media reported.

According to reports, the three were targeted in an incident that the police are treating as “criminal,” indicating that they don’t suspect a terror-related motive.

The man killed was identified by the Abraham Initiatives coexistence advocacy group as Saher Arar.

An investigation has been opened and a search for the perpetrators of the shooting is underway, reports added.

Police said the incident was most likely part of a feud between mob-linked organizations.

Since the beginning of the year, 115 Arabs have been killed in violent criminal incidents in Israel, according to the Abraham Initiatives tally.

A murder scene in Nazareth on September 24, 2021. (Magen David Adom)

This time last year, 114 Arabs had been killed, with 2023 being the deadliest year on record in terms of violent crime in the Arab Israeli community, meaning 2024 is now on pace to be even deadlier.

Just over the past week, there have been eight deaths caused by violent crime in the Arab community.

Many Arab Israeli community leaders put the blame for the rising murders on 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.

Leaders say their communities have also suffered from years of neglect by state authorities. More than half of Arab Israelis live under the poverty line, and their cities and towns often have poor infrastructure and public services. The government issues economic rankings to all the country’s cities from 1 to 10. Almost no Arab city scores higher than 5.

Meanwhile, authorities have blamed burgeoning organized crime and the proliferation of weapons, while some have pointed to a failure by communities to cooperate with law enforcement to root out criminals.

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