Man shot dead, three others wounded in Umm Al-Fahm shooting

After rapid investigation and car chase, police arrest three suspects, seize two vehicles related to suspected murder of Anwar Alsheikh Zeid

Illustrative - The scene of a fatal shooting in the northern Arab city of Umm Al-Fahm, February 25, 2024. (Israel Police)
Illustrative - The scene of a fatal shooting in the northern Arab city of Umm Al-Fahm, February 25, 2024. (Israel Police)

A man was shot dead and three others suffered moderate to serious injuries on Sunday in the northern Arab city of Umm Al-Fahm, according to the Israel Police.

The man, identified in media reports as Anwar Alsheikh Zeid, 48, a resident of Umm Al-Fahm, was gunned down on Almedian Street in what was apparently an underworld mob hit.

Magen David Adom medics who were called to the scene declared Zeid dead. Two others were seriously injured and a third was moderately hurt in the shooting, according to MDA.

Police opened an investigation that swiftly led them to a suspect. After a short chase, the man was arrested along with two other suspects, and their car was seized. Shortly afterward, a second car used by the suspects was also seized by investigators, police said.

The Abraham Initiatives anti-violence watchdog group said the death brought to 27 the number of Arab Israelis who have been killed in violent crime since the start of 2024, of which 22 were shot dead.

During the same period in 2023, 22 Arab Israelis had been killed and the total number of deaths last year, 244, was over twice that of 2022 amid a wave of killings linked to crime gangs.

On Friday, a 15-year-old boy was shot dead in the southern Bedouin city of Rahat, with police later arresting seven suspects in the case. Earlier this month a man, 38, was shot dead in the northern town of Jadeidi-Makr in a killing apparently related to criminal activity.

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.

The communities have also suffered from years of neglect by state authorities. More than half 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.

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.

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