A mother and one of her 14-year-old twin daughters were murdered late Monday night in a shooting in the central city of Lod. The surviving twin was seriously injured in the attack and is being treated in hospital.
The three victims were Arab-Israeli residents of Lod, according to reports. In photos police released Monday, it appears the three were in a vehicle when they were fired upon.
The mother, 34, was identified in the Hebrew-language press as Manar Hajaj. She and one of the teenagers were critically injured in the shooting and later died of their wounds.
The twin daughter was also shot and was taken to the Shamir Medical Center (also known as Assaf Harofeh Hospital) in serious condition.
Police have launched an investigation into the killings, which appear to be the latest in an unrelenting crime wave gripping Israel’s Arab communities.
Police suggested the murders were likely criminal in nature, possibly part of a spat between criminal entities, but this was only an initial assessment.
No arrests have been made yet. Police said officers collected evidence from the murder scene on Harav Kook street in the mixed Arab-Jewish city as the investigation gets underway.
According to Ynet, Hajaj and her daughters had been unpacking groceries from the vehicle when she and one of the twins were shot at close range. The second twin tried to flee and was shot in the leg, according to the report.
Separately, police on Monday night said they arrested a Taibe resident in an earlier incident where a 40-year-old man lightly injured in a shooting in the city was forcibly removed by a number of suspects from an ambulance.
The person is suspected of being involved in the shooting and in the kidnapping.
The police said the background of the incident was criminal and they were looking for additional suspects.
On Sunday, journalist Nidal Agbaria died from gunshot wounds in the northern Arab city of Umm al-Fahm, after being the target of threats for an extended period.
According to the Abraham Initiatives, a group campaigning against violence in the Arab community, at least 75 Arab Israelis have been killed so far this year in violent crimes.