Man shot dead in Bedouin village, third murder in Arab community in past 24 hours

Police believe 221st killing in Arab community this year part of ongoing feud between crime families

A view of the city of Rahat, in southern Israel, October 30, 2023 (Gianluca Pacchiani / Times of Israel)
A view of the city of Rahat, in southern Israel, October 30, 2023 (Gianluca Pacchiani / Times of Israel)

A man was shot and killed on Wednesday in the Bedouin village of Rahat, marking the third homicide in the Arab Israeli community in the past 24 hours.

Police believe that the killing was part of a feud between crime families in Rahat.

On Tuesday, two Arab men were shot dead. In Nazareth, 29-year-old Moanas Marwat, a resident of the city, was critically wounded and later died of his injuries, the Israel Police said in a statement. Hours earlier, Issa Ghazi, a man in his 30s, was found fatally shot in a car in Kafr Qara.

The anti-violence group Abraham Initiatives said the murder in Rahat brought to 221 the number of people killed by violence in the Arab community since the beginning of the year. During the same period in 2022, there were 103 deaths from violence.

The killings are part of a violent crime wave that has engulfed the Arab community in recent years, but which has risen this year to unprecedented heights.

Many Arab Israeli community leaders put the blame on the 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 communities have also suffered from years of neglect by state authorities.

Analysts say the killings have been driven by underworld violence fueled by powerful gangs engaged in extortion, loan sharking, protection rackets and other criminal activities.

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