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Man shot dead in Nazareth; 2 suspects arrested

Police seize loaded pistol, assess shooting was an underworld hit; 116 members of Arab community killed in suspected homicides this year

Illustrative: Police inspect the scene of a murder in the northern city of Nazareth on Sunday evening, September 23, 2019. (Israel Police Spokesperson)
Illustrative: Police inspect the scene of a murder in the northern city of Nazareth on Sunday evening, September 23, 2019. (Israel Police Spokesperson)

A man was fatally shot Monday in the northern city of Nazareth, the latest apparent homicide victim in the Arab community amid efforts to curb a wave of violent crime.

The shooting victim was taken by paramedics to Nazareth’s English Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

He was later identified as Ehab Saadi, 40.

Following the shooting, police forces put up roadblocks and arrested two suspects found alongside a loaded pistol.

Police said an initial investigation indicated the shooting was an underworld hit.

According to the Abraham Initiative nonprofit, the shooting in Nazareth was the 116th homicide in the Arab community this year, by far an all-time record. Of those killed, 97 were Arab citizens of Israel and 19 were Palestinians, either from East Jerusalem or with Israeli residency.

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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