Man shot dead in southern Israel, the 20th killing in the Arab community this year

Death of Abdel Qader Abu Elion, 28, reportedly linked to land disputes in Tel Sheva; police open investigation

A view of the Bedouin town of Tel Sheva (CC-BY Avishai Teicher/Wikipedia)
A view of the Bedouin town of Tel Sheva (CC-BY Avishai Teicher/Wikipedia)

A 28-year-old resident of the Bedouin town of Tel Sheva in southern Israel was shot and killed overnight, police said Sunday morning.

Police were called to Tel Sheva after locals residents reported hearing gunshots in the area.

The victim, identified by Hebrew-language media as Jalal Abdel Qader Abu Elion, was taken to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba in serious condition, where medical staff pronounced his death.

An investigation into the incident has been opened.

Following a situation assessment held by the police commander of the Negev region, Nachshon Nagler, police said they were considering Abu Elion’s death to be a suspected murder.

While the circumstances surrounding his death were not yet clear, the Maariv news outlet said it was believed the incident was related to a dispute over land in the town.

Abu Elion’s death is the 20th in the Arab community in Israel in 2022, the Abraham Initiatives NGO said.

A view of the Bedouin town of Tel Sheva (CC-BY Avishai Teicher/Wikipedia)

Arab communities have seen a surge in violence in recent years, driven mainly by organized crime.

Arab Israelis blame 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. The community has also suffered from decades of neglect.

Earlier this year, Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said that “criminal families in the Arab sector” were “holding the community by the throat.”

Last year, the cabinet passed a plan to allocate NIS 2.5 billion ($750 million) over the next five years to fight the rampant crime in Arab communities.

According to the Aman Center, a civil society group that works to curtail violence in Israel’s Arab community, a record 128 Arab civilians were killed in 2021 as a result of violent crime. The group recorded 113 such killings in 2020, 96 in 2019 and 67 in 2018.

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