Groom from Bedouin wedding nabbed after celebratory shooting on Negev streets

Another two people detained for questioning, vehicles impounded after video of revelers firing rifles in residential area goes viral

Police arrested a bridegroom on Sunday night in connection with the apparent celebratory shooting of M16 assault rifles in a residential area on Friday during a Bedouin wedding in southern Israel.

Video of the shooting frenzy, which showed men firing into the air from several vehicles, went viral on social networks. It was apparently filmed in the area of the Bedouin town of Segev Shalom, southeast of Beersheba.

The groom, in his 20s, from Segev Shalom, was to be brought before a court on Monday to have his remand extended.

A father and son were also detained for questioning and vehicles suspected of having been involved were confiscated.

On Sunday, police said they had already identified several members of the wedding party seen in the video. Police activities are to continue until all those involved have been arrested, a statement said.

Shooting is not uncommon at Arab weddings.

In the south of the country, army bases in the Negev desert are routinely robbed, often by Bedouin Israelis who live nearby.

Though the problem is well known, it has gone mostly unaddressed. There is generally limited police presence in the area, and the military is limited in its ability to arrest would-be thieves.

Police claim that measures over the past year to combat illicit arms dealing and “wild driving” in Israel have yielded progress and that they seized unprecedented numbers of illegal weapons, “particularly in Arab communities,” in 2017.

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