Two men were shot and killed in the central city of Qalansawe in the early hours of Friday. A further two people were also wounded in the incident — one was in serious condition while the fourth was classified as lightly injured.
The fatalities were identified as Leith Nasra, 19, and Muhammad Khatib, the 20-year-old nephew of the director-general of the Qalansawe Municipality who was shot and seriously wounded while sitting in his car earlier this month.
However, the Kan public broadcaster said the two shooting events were not believed to be connected.
According to reports, the attacker on Friday cut the electricity to the home the men were sitting in, entered, and began to open fire.
The Kan public broadcaster said the victims were known to police and an initial probe found the shooting was part of a dispute between criminals. Police have opened an investigation.
The victims were taken by Magen David Adom medics to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva and to the Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, where medical personnel confirmed the deaths and treated the wounded.
“What did he do to get himself killed? We can’t continue to live like this. The writing was on the wall,” Nasra’s family members told Ynet.
The 26 Arabs who have died violently this year in Israel include 20 Arab Israeli citizens, four Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, and two Palestinians from the West Bank. Three were shot by police, the Abraham Initiatives nonprofit said.
On Sunday, a man was killed near his home in a shooting in the Arab town of Tira, while earlier last week a teenager was killed and another boy was seriously wounded in a shooting in the town of Jaljulia in central Israel.
Ending the spread of violence and organized crime is a major priority for Arab Israelis and the focus of recent mass protests.
In 2020, 96 Arab Israelis were killed, by far the highest annual toll in recent memory.
More than 90 percent of shootings in Israel last year took place in Arab communities, according to police. Arab Israelis account for around one-fifth of the country’s population.