Palestinian stabbed to death in south, amid wave of homicides

18-year-old brought to police station by father, taken by ambulance to hospital where he is declared dead

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

Majid Dais, 18, a resident of the West Bank town of Yata, who was stabbed to death in the southern town of Lakiya, August 23, 2023. (social media)
Majid Dais, 18, a resident of the West Bank town of Yata, who was stabbed to death in the southern town of Lakiya, August 23, 2023. (social media)

A Palestinian man was stabbed to death in the southern town of Lakiya early Wednesday morning, as a record-breaking crime wave continued to plague the Arab community.

Majid Dais, an 18-year-old resident of the West Bank town of Yata, was brought wounded by his father to the Ayarot Police Station near Beersheba, where the Magen David Adom ambulance service took him to Soroka Medical Center, police said.

Doctors declared him dead shortly after his arrival.

Police said they are investigating the area where the stabbing happened, and have yet to determine the motive of the homicide.

It was unclear why Dais was in Israel.

The stabbing came hours after four people, one of them a mayoral candidate, were shot to death, in the northern town of Abu Snan.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called again for using the Shin Bet internal security agency to combat violent crime in Arab locales shortly before the shooting, and following the killing of Tira’s municipal director, Abed Rahman Kashua, a day earlier.

Police at the scene of a mass shooting in Abu Snan, August 22, 2023. (Shir Torem/Flash90)

Netanyahu’s office later announced that a ministerial panel tasked with fighting against crime in the Arab community would convene Wednesday.

Netanyahu and far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir have previously pledged to employ the Shin Bet in the government’s crime-fighting response but have yet to do so amid pushback from the agency and leaders of Arab communities. The Shin Bet is generally tasked with fighting domestic terrorism, including in the West Bank and Gaza, and threats to state institutions.

According to the Abraham Initiatives anti-violence advocacy group, 156 members of the Arab community have been killed since the start of the year, mostly in shootings. During the same time frame last year, 69 were killed.

The group said they did not include Wednesday morning’s killing in their tally because Dais was not a citizen or resident of Israel.

The killings are part of a violent crime wave that has engulfed the Arab community in recent years. Many community leaders blame the police, whom they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence. They also point to decades of neglect and discrimination by government offices as the root cause of the problem.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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