Man stabbed to death near Haifa, in 3rd slaying in a day in Arab community

Man stabbed to death near Haifa, in 3rd slaying in a day in Arab community

Resident of Jatt, 22, knifed in Baqa al-Gharbiya; fatality comes hours after deadly shootings in Kafr Yasif and Jaffa as Arab Israelis allege police neglect

The scene in Baqa al-Gharbiya where a man was fatally stabbed on June 17, 2020. (Screenshot: Ynet)
The scene in Baqa al-Gharbiya where a man was fatally stabbed on June 17, 2020. (Screenshot: Ynet)

A man was stabbed to death Tuesday night near Haifa in the north of the country, in what was the third slaying in a day in the Arab Israeli community.

The victim, 22, a resident of Jatt, was stabbed in the town of Baqa al-Gharbiya, Israel Police said in a statement. Police opened an investigation into the incident and began searching for the suspect, the force said.

Hebrew-language media identified the man as Mohammad Watad and said he was taken in serious condition to the Hillel Yaffe hospital in Hadera, where doctors later pronounced him dead.

Recent years have seen an increase in killings and gun crime in the Arab Israeli community. Arab leaders say police largely ignore the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars, and violence against women. Since the beginning of the year, 42 people have been killed in the Arab community.

A number of demonstrations and large rallies have been held to protest what Arab Israelis say is a failure to adequately deal with the wave of criminal violence within the community.

Residents of Baqa al-Gharbiya were planning to hold a protest against violence in their community on Wednesday, the Walla news website reported.

Images of the three recent fatalities were shared on social media.

Just before midnight Tuesday, a man was fatally shot in Kafr Yasif, another northern Arab town. A Magen David Adom ambulance took him to the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya where doctors declared him dead.

Hours earlier, a man was killed and a 12-year-old boy was critically injured in a shooting on Harav Rubinstein Street in the central city of Jaffa.

Drive-by shootings and car bombs as part of underworld gang wars have long plagued Israeli cities, including Jaffa.

A 4-year-old Palestinian girl, Rafif Qara’een, a resident of the Issawiya neighborhood of East Jerusalem, died 10 days after she was struck by an apparent stray bullet fired by an unknown shooter on May 21, according to police. A relative said the family had sat down to eat the traditional iftar meal held each night during the month of Ramadan fasts, when a bullet hit her in the head.

In a seemingly unrelated incident the same evening, a 3-year-old boy and his father were lightly to moderately injured when a masked gunman opened fire at them in a shop in the Shuafat refugee camp.

Only 30 percent of the alleged murders in the Arab Israeli community in 2019 — 27 out of 88 — have been solved, the Haaretz daily reported.

Thirty-six percent of Arab Israelis have a sense of personal insecurity in the community where they live due to violence, compared to 12.8% among Jewish Israelis, according to a 2019 report by the Abraham Fund.

Baladna, a nonprofit organization, reported that young Arab Israelis are the most likely to be killed within the community — more than half of those murdered are 18 to 34 years old.

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