Man shot dead in northern village, in third Arab Israeli homicide in a day

Resident of Jadeidi-Makr rushed to hospital in critical condition, later declared dead; watchdog says 31 Arab Israelis murdered since beginning of year

File: Police at the scene of a murder in Jadeidi-Makr on October 7, 2022. (Israel Police)
File: Police at the scene of a murder in Jadeidi-Makr on October 7, 2022. (Israel Police)

A man was shot dead in Jadeidi-Makr in the north of the country on Monday, police said, the third homicide in the Arab Israeli community within a day.

The man, in his fifties, was reported critically injured by the gunfire. Medics rushed him to Galilee Medical Center while trying to resuscitate him but he was declared dead after arriving at the emergency room.

The shooting came after another man was shot dead in I’billin Sunday, in what police said was apparently a killing tied to feuding crime families. Hours earlier, in the same northern community, a man allegedly murdered his wife by stabbing her in her car. He later gave himself up to police.

The anti-violence Abraham Initiatives watchdog said that there have been 31 deaths due to violent crime in the Arab community since the start of the year. That compares with 28 deaths during the same period last year.

The toll for all of 2023 was 244, over twice that of 2022, the group said.

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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