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Man shot to death in northern Druze town

2 others left wounded after shooting in Yarka; police launch hunt for suspects

Illustrative. Israel Police in Bat Yam. on February 27, 2017. (Moti Karelitz/ Flash90/ File)
Illustrative. Israel Police in Bat Yam. on February 27, 2017. (Moti Karelitz/ Flash90/ File)

A man was killed on Saturday in a shooting that left two others wounded in the northern Druze town of Yarka.

Police said one person was lightly hurt, another moderately injured and the third was critically wounded. The latter was later pronounced dead as he was treated at Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya.

The man killed was identified as 30-year-old Sarhan Ataullah. He was due to get married next week, according to Channel 12 news.

Police said the other two shooting victims were 24 and 25.

A manhunt was launched for the suspects and police said evidence was gathered from the scene as part of an investigation that was opened.

According to Abraham Initiatives, Ataullah was the 62nd Arab or Druze citizen to die in a homicide since the start of the year.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said earlier this week that violence and crime in Arab Israeli communities was a “national calamity” and vowed to soon release a national plan to address the issue.

Arab cities and towns have seen a surge in violence in recent years, with organized crime seen as the main driver. 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.

In 2020, 96 Arab Israelis were killed, by far the highest annual toll in recent memory.

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