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Man shot dead in northern Druze town

Hayum Shahada, 53, from Yarka, gunned down at his place of work in front of customers, bringing number of Arab Israelis killed in suspected homicides this year to 96

Hayum Shahada. (Facebook)
Hayum Shahada. (Facebook)

An Arab Israeli man was shot dead early Sunday in the northern Druze town of Yarka, police said.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said paramedics called to the scene found him unconscious and took him to the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya.

He was pronounced dead upon arrival.

The shooting victim was identified as Hayum Shahada, 53, from Yarka. He was reportedly shot at his metalworking shop in front of customers.

Police said they opened an investigation into the shooting and officers were gathering evidence at the scene and searching for suspects.

Arab communities have seen a surge in violence in recent years, driven mainly, but not only, by organized crime.

Arab Israelis rally in Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, to denounce crime and violence in the community, October 22, 2021 (AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

Since the beginning of 2021, at least 115 Arabs were killed in suspected homicides, according to the Abraham Initiatives nonprofit. Of them, 96 were Arab citizens of Israel and another 19 were Palestinians, either from East Jerusalem or with Israeli residency.

In 2020, 96 Arab Israeli citizens were killed in homicides.

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.”

Sunday’s shooting came three days after a woman was shot dead in the northern Druze-majority town of Maghar. Also last week, a woman was stabbed to death in her home in the northern Arab town of Jadeidi-Makr and an East Jerusalem man was fatally shot in his car in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood.

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