Man shot dead in Ramle, taking year’s crime toll in Arab community to 217

Anti-violence watchdog identifies victim as Sammy Alsmali, 20; police say killing apparently part of feud between rival crime families

Illustrative: A Magen David Adom ambulance. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Illustrative: A Magen David Adom ambulance. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A man was shot dead overnight in the central city of Ramle, Israel Police said in a statement Thursday.

The incident was apparently part of a feud between rival crime families, the statement said.

The anti-violence group Abraham Initiatives identified the victim as Sammy Alsmali, 20, a resident of the city.

Police said the man was taken to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in serious condition but was later declared dead.

According to the police statement, “part of a weapon” was found in the yard of a compound close to the scene of the shooting. The item was taken for further examination.

The Abraham Initiatives said the shooting brought to 217 the number of Arabs killed in the country since the beginning of the year. In 2022, there were 98 during the same period.

Of those killed so far this year, 194 were shot dead, the group said. Fifteen of those slain were women.

The killings are part of a violent crime wave that has engulfed the Arab community in recent years, with police proving unable to stem the tide of killings. Local Arab leaders have blamed poor enforcement, powerful criminal organizations, and decades of neglect and discrimination by the government.

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

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