Stray bullets hit southern town for second time in days

No injuries as gunfire hits home, yard in Carmit; Rahat suspect filmed firing into air to celebrate wedding arrested after bullet hit car in nearby kibbutz on Friday

Illustrative: Empty bullet shells on a sidewalk. (Flash90)
Illustrative: Empty bullet shells on a sidewalk. (Flash90)

Stray bullets hit at least two homes in a southern Israel town, residents reported Sunday, days after a car at a kibbutz was hit by suspected celebratory gunfire from a Bedouin wedding.

Residents of Carmit reported finding bullet holes and bullets that punctured the wall of a home and a ball in the yard of another home.

“I found the stray bullet that hit my kids’ soccer ball,” a resident told Channel 12 news. “Luckily, the bullet struck when my kids were not outside in the yard, but the danger is there and it’s not long before one hits and injures someone.”

Another Carmit resident said four homes on his street had been hit by stray bullets in recent months.

The fire was thought to have come from a nearby Bedouin town. Celebratory gunfire is a recurring phenomenon at Arab weddings in Israel, despite being illegal.

On Friday night, a stray bullet apparently fired at a wedding in the Bedouin city of Rahat damaged a car in nearby Kibbutz Mishmar Hanegev.

Police on Sunday arrested a resident of Rahat for firing the bullet.

The suspect, 20, was captured after a video of him firing bullets in the air was uploaded to social media, Hebrew-language media reported.

In the video, a man clad in black is seen shooting rapid fire into the air from a machine gun while standing next to a building on an empty street.

Meir Feldfaber, the owner of the car hit by the gunfire, told the Ynet news site he awoke on Saturday morning to find a bullet from an M-16 rifle and the resulting hole in his car. No injuries were reported from the shooting.

“It’s possible to repair the car, but just imagine what would have happened if it hurt a child. It’s very scary,” he said, adding that he quickly contacted the police.

In a message to its residents on Saturday, the kibbutz wrote that a wedding took place in Rahat and that the shooting began at 8:30 p.m.

“At this hour, people spend time outside, and it could hurt people or animals and not a vehicle,” the kibbutz said.

Nir Zamir, chair of the Bnei Shimon Regional Council, urged police to raid weddings where there is gunfire and confiscate the weapons.

“They need to take care of this to prevent disaster. It endangers all of us, both residents of the communities and the Bedouins,” he said Saturday.

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