Man killed, another injured in Umm al-Fahm shooting that caused car to crash

Shots fired at vehicle apparently caused driver to lose control and collide with oncoming truck in northern Arab town; in separate incident, gunfire toward bus in Tira

Scene of a shooting in the northern Arab Israeli town of Umm Al-Fahm, December 2, 2021. (Israel Police)
Scene of a shooting in the northern Arab Israeli town of Umm Al-Fahm, December 2, 2021. (Israel Police)

A man was killed and another seriously injured in a shooting attack on a vehicle in the northern town of Umm al-Fahm on Thursday, in the latest incident in a wave of deadly violence in the Arab community in Israel.

The victim was identified as Mohammed Hamzeh Burghel, 33, a resident of the town, the Ynet website reported.

Magen David Adom ambulance service said paramedics treated Burghel and then took him to the hospital in serious but stable condition. He was later declared dead at the Emek Medical Center in Afula.

The second man underwent surgery at the hospital, Ynet reported.

The driver apparently lost control of the vehicle as a result of the shooting and crashed into an oncoming truck, though it seems no one in the truck was injured.

Police opened an investigation into the shooting.

According to the Abraham Initiatives nonprofit, the shooting in Umm al-Fahm was the 117th homicide in the Arab community this year, by far an all-time record. Of those killed, 98 were Arab citizens of Israel and 19 were Palestinians.

The incident came hours after a shooting incident in the center of the country. Shots were fired toward a bus heading from Tira to Netanya, the Kan public broadcaster reported.

The shooting took place at a bus stop in Tira after a car blocked the bus’s path. As the driver tried to maneuver around the car, a masked man emerged and directed a burst of gunfire at the bus. The driver took cover in the bus and called the police. There were no injuries reported.

On Monday a man was fatally shot in the northern city of Nazareth. He was identified as Ehab Saadi, 40.

Arab communities have seen a surge in violence in recent years, driven mainly, but not only, 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 community has also suffered from decades of neglect.

In August, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that violence and crime in Arab Israeli communities was a “national calamity.”

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