ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Man shot dead in northern town in 4th suspected murder in less than a day

Jisr az-Zarqa resident in his 20s gunned down outside his home as violent crime continues to plague Israeli Arab communities

Police in the area of a shooting in the northern town of Jisr az-Zarqa, February 3, 2023. (Israel Police)
Police in the area of a shooting in the northern town of Jisr az-Zarqa, February 3, 2023. (Israel Police)

A man in his 20s was shot to death in the northern town of Jisr az-Zarqa on Friday night, becoming the fourth suspected murder victim in Israeli Arab communities in less than a day.

Police said the man was standing outside his home in the coastal city when he was gunned down. He died shortly after.

Police deployed a number of officers to Jisr az-Zarqa to sweep the area, and set up roadblocks in an attempt to capture the shooter.

Crime scene investigators were also examining the area of the attack, police said.

Earlier Friday, a 26-year-old man was shot dead in the northern town of Umm al-Fahm.

Medics arrived at the scene to find the victim, a resident of Ar’ara, unconscious. They were unable to resuscitate him and were forced to declare his death on the spot.

A second man was lightly injured in the shooting and was evacuated to a hospital in nearby Afula. Police later arrived at the scene and began collecting evidence.

Hours earlier, brothers Ali and Khaled Saadi were shot in the northern city of Nazareth in what police suspect was part of ongoing hostilities between rival criminal groups.

The two men, aged 28 and 31, were seriously wounded in the shooting and brought to the Arab Israeli city’s English Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

According to Hebrew media reports, the Saadis were shot at close range at the entrance to their home by suspects who identified themselves as police after knocking on the door.

The two were affiliated with the Bakri crime family, which has been feuding with the Harari organization.

The Abraham Initiatives watchdog, which monitors and campaigns against violence in the Arab community, reported that the latest deaths brought the number of Arabs killed in homicides since the start of the year to 11.

Ten of the deaths were caused by gunfire, and five of the victims were under 30 years old. One non-citizen was among those killed.

Last year, 116 Arab Israelis were killed in violent incidents, 101 of them by gunfire.

Arab communities in Israel have seen a surge in violence in recent years, driven mainly, but not exclusively, by organized crime.

Arab Israelis say police have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and for years largely ignored the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars and attacks on women.

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