A man was shot dead Wednesday evening in Lod, hours after a suspected car bombing in the central city.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service said paramedics found the man with gunshot wounds and no vitals, pronouncing him dead at the scene.
The shooting victim was named as Lod resident Ahmed Abu Hamed, 37.
Police released a statement announcing the launch of an investigation, adding that officers were gathering evidence and searching for suspects.
The statement described the killing as “likely criminal,” suggesting it was not terror-related.
Members of Lod’s Arab community are set to strike on Thursday to protest the escalating violence. The Popular Committee for Arab residents of Lod, a group that represents members of Israel’s Arab community, called for a strike in all Arab-owned businesses in the city. Residents are expected to demonstrate in three locations across the city including near the police station.
The shooting came after a man was killed in the city when his car exploded earlier Wednesday. There was no immediate indication the two incidents were linked.
Police identified the victim of the bombing as a known criminal, named as Omar Sha’ban, who has been involved with drug offenses.
Hebrew media reports indicated police suspect the car bomb was planted as part of an ongoing dispute between criminal gangs.
According to the Abraham Initiatives, which tracks violence in Arab communities, 18 Arabs in Israel have been killed in homicides since the start of the year.
Last year, 116 Arab Israelis were killed in violent incidents, 101 of them by gunfire.
Arab communities in Israel have seen a surge in violence in recent years, driven mainly, but not exclusively, by organized crime. Arab Israelis say police have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and for years largely ignored the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars, and attacks on women.