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Month-old baby hit by gunfire from armed brawl in Bedouin village

Suspect with rifle arrested in southern town of Mulada during fight between rival gangs; infant hospitalized in moderate condition; woman, 28, also shot

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Illustrative: Police officers outside the Bedouin village of Mulada in the Negev desert, southern Israel, January 12, 2022. (Flash90)
Illustrative: Police officers outside the Bedouin village of Mulada in the Negev desert, southern Israel, January 12, 2022. (Flash90)

A 1-month-old baby and a 28-year-old woman were hospitalized on Monday, after being struck by gunfire in southern Israel, officials said.

Police said the shooting took place during a brawl between two rival gangs in the Bedouin village of Mulada in the Negev Desert.

The report said officers arrested a suspect in possession of an M16 rifle. It was not immediately clear whether the detainee was responsible for the shooting that wounded the pair.

The wounded were taken by medics to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, where the 1-month-old was listed in moderate condition and the woman in light condition.

They were not immediately named.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said its medics were called to transport the wounded to the hospital from a junction some 13 kilometers (some 8 miles) away from where the shooting took place.

“Near the Shokat Junction, we met up with a private vehicle in which the two wounded were sitting… conscious and suffering from gunshot wounds. We took them to an intensive care unit while giving them medical treatment… and we evacuated them to the hospital as their condition was stable,” an MDA medic said.

Earlier this month, the country was shocked when 4-year-old Ammar Hujayrat was shot dead during a nearby gun battle between criminals while he was at a playground.

Arab Israelis blame 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 community has also suffered from decades of neglect.

The Abraham Initiatives said there were 125 Arabs — an all-time record — killed in Israel in 2021 as a result of violence and crime. So far this month, there have been seven apparent homicides in the Arab community.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Public Security Minister Omer Barlev have vowed to crack down on the violence, which has shown little sign of abating.

Budget plans passed late last year call for billions of shekels over the next five years to be funneled toward addressing violence in Arab society and developing the community’s economy.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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