Man shot dead in Tuba-Zangariyye, taking Arab community toll to 176 this year

Police say incident apparently related to warring criminal groups, comes hours after slain woman laid to rest next to her father, who was gunned down early this year

The entrance to Tuba-Zangariyye, northern Israel, on January 10, 2021. (David Cohen/Flash90)
The entrance to Tuba-Zangariyye, northern Israel, on January 10, 2021. (David Cohen/Flash90)

A 54-year-old man was shot dead Tuesday evening in the northern town of Tuba-Zangariyye, taking the toll in the Arab Israeli community since the start of the year to 176, according to a monitor.

Medics took the man in a critical condition to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed but he was already dead when they arrived.

The Abraham Initiatives anti-violence advocacy group identified the man as Mohammad Jozi, a resident of Tuba-Zangariyye.

The Israel Police opened an investigation into the incident and said that the shooting was apparently tied to feuding criminal groups.

According to the Abraham Initiatives, 176 members of the Arab community have been killed in homicides since the beginning of the year, compared to 79 during the same period in 2022.

Of those slain this year, 160 were shot dead, the group said.

Earlier in the day a funeral was held for Alaa Jao, who died Monday of gunshot wounds inflicted last week in the north of the country. Jao was buried next to her father, who was shot dead four months ago.

Most of her family did not participate in the funeral because of the risk to their lives, Ynet reported. Jao’s mother was injured in a shooting the week before she herself was shot.

The killings are part of a violent crime wave that has engulfed the Arab community in recent years. Many community leaders blame the police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence. They also point to decades of neglect and discrimination by government offices as the root cause of the problem.

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 criminal

Earlier this month, the Arab community went on strike as municipal leaders called for the establishment of an emergency committee to fight the relentless crime wave.

The violence has increasingly spilled into municipal politics in recent weeks, with threats and attacks directed against mayors, candidates, other municipal officials, and their families. A mayor candidate in Abu Snan, in northern Israel, was among four people killed in an attack late last month

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