2 men shot to death in separate incidents in Israeli Arab communities

Victims of suspected homicides in community climb to 14 since the start of the year; separately, Taibe resident seriously injured in car blast

Police at the scene of a suspected murder in Jaffa, February 18, 2022. (Screenshot)
Police at the scene of a suspected murder in Jaffa, February 18, 2022. (Screenshot)

A man in Jaffa was shot to death Friday in what police called a suspected murder, and hours later, a man was killed in northern Israel in an unrelated shooting.

The man in Jaffa, who the Magen David Adom ambulance service said was around 30 years old, was brought in critical condition to Wolfson Medical Center in nearby Holon, where he was pronounced dead.

Police opened an investigation into the shooting, including into whether it was tied to gang violence.

The suspected murder victim was not immediately named. According to the Abraham Initiatives nonprofit, he was the 13th Arab killed in a homicide since the start of the year.

In a separate incident Friday, a lawyer was shot dead next to a mosque in the northern town of Mazara’a, near Nahariya.

Hebrew media reports identified him as Hussein Awad, 45.

Magen David Adom paramedics declared him dead at the scene of the shooting.

Police considered one of Awad’s family members to be a suspect, and were investigating whether the shooter intended to hit someone else, and shot Awad accidentally, Ynet reported.

Police said Saturday they had arrested two suspects in connection with the shooting.

In a third incident on Friday, with no known connection to the two shootings, a man in the central Arab Israeli city of Taibe was seriously wounded after a blast went off in his car.

The man, who was reported to be around 50 years old, was taken to Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba.

Police believe the explosion was linked to a feud between families in Taibe, the Haaretz daily reported.

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

Arab Israelis blame 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 Abraham Initiatives, which monitors and campaigns against violence in the Arab community, said there were 125 Arabs killed in Israel in 2021 as a result of violence and crime, of whom 62 were below the age of 30.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Public Security Minister Omer Barlev have vowed to crack down on the violence, as well as on illegal weapons.

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