Man shot dead in northern town of Abu Snan

Victim is 45th to die in homicide in Arab community this year, surpassing 2023 toll at same time of year

Illustrative. Police officers in Rishon Lezion on July 03, 2022. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
Illustrative. Police officers in Rishon Lezion on July 03, 2022. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

A 28-year-old man was killed in the West Galilee town of Abu Snan on Sunday morning in a crime-related shooting, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said.

The Israel Police opened an investigation after MDA declared the man dead from bullet wounds.

He was found with no vital signs, said an MDA medic.

According to the Abraham Initiatives, an Israeli-Palestinian organization that promotes social inclusion and equal rights and keeps tallies of crime-related deaths in the Arab community, the victim was a resident of the nearby town of Kfar Yassif.

According to the organization’s tally, he was the 45th homicide victim in the Arab community this year, meaning that on average, someone was murdered every other day.

Last year — which saw a record of 244 murders in the Arab community — 41 people had been murdered by this date.

A Magen David Adom ambulance at a murder scene in Kiryat Yam on December 24, 2023. (Magen David Adom)

A wave of violent crime has swept the Arab Israeli community, much of it tied to warring organized crime groups. 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.

For their part, authorities have blamed burgeoning organized crime and the proliferation of weaponry, while some have pointed to a failure by communities to cooperate with law enforcement to root out criminals.

Communities have also suffered from years of neglect by state authorities. Some 40% of Arab Israelis live below the poverty line, and their cities and towns often have crumbling infrastructure and poor public services. The minister in charge of police, Itamar Ben Gvir, has a long history of incendiary comments and stances against Arab Israelis, and the community’s leaders have argued that his policies have only intensified the epidemic of violence over the last year.

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