Man shot dead in northern town, in Arab community’s 80th fatality this year

28-year-old killed, 1 other badly injured in Kfar Yassif; separate shooting wounds man in his 20s in Lod

Illustrative: Police at the scene of a suspected homicide in Ashdod, February 21, 2023. (Flash90)
Illustrative: Police at the scene of a suspected homicide in Ashdod, February 21, 2023. (Flash90)

A 28-year-old man was shot to death on Thursday in the northern town of Kfar Yassif, as a relentless wave of violent crime in Arab Israeli communities continued.

Media reports identified the fatality as Firas Masaadeh, a resident of the town in the Western Galilee region. He was the son of the area’s deputy regional council director.

One other man was badly injured in the shooting, police said.

Police were searching the area for suspects and collecting evidence at the scene of the shooting.

Both victims were brought to the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya after the shooting.

Dozens of people gathered at the hospital after news of Masaadeh’s death, with some scuffles breaking out among the visitors, Channel 12 reported.

Also Thursday night, a man in his 20s was badly wounded in a separate shooting in the central city of Lod. He was treated at the scene and rushed to a Tel Aviv hospital for treatment.

On Wednesday, a man was shot dead in Lod in an incident police said was apparently tied to organized crime.

Eighty members of the Arab community have been killed in violent criminal incidents since the beginning of the year, far higher than the total at this time last year, according to the Abraham Initiatives watchdog group.

The vast majority of the killings were caused by gunfire and six of the fatalities were women, the group said.

Nationwide, over 90 suspected murders have taken place since the start of 2023, more than double last year’s rate, which itself was higher than previous years.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, a far-right lawmaker who campaigned on promises to beef up public safety, has largely stayed quiet on the soaring crime wave.

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