A suspect was killed and a second suspect was seriously injured during a shootout after police responded to gunfire targeting a house in Nazareth on Thursday night, law enforcement officials said.
Police patrolling the northern, Arab-majority city rushed to the source of the gunfire after hearing shots ring out and spotted a suspicious car, giving chase, police said.
Suspects in the car opened fire and police responded, hitting two of the suspects.
There were no reports of injuries among police.
Two other suspects in the car were arrested, police said. Three assault rifles were also found in the vehicle.
Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said in a statement that the background of the shooting was criminal while hailing the efforts of police who managed to nab the suspects involved without harming any innocent civilians in the area.
“The fight against crime in Arab communities is long and complex, and it requires patience and determination,” he said.
Arab communities in Israel have been roiled in recent years by a massive uptick in deadly violence, much of it thought to be linked to underworld activity, with police struggling to crack down on near-daily shootings.
שכונת ספאפרה דיווח על אירוע ירי
מהדיווח שמתקבל מדובר כנראה בהרוג במקום,ועוד פצוע קשה, כוחות גדולים של משטרה זורמים לאזור. pic.twitter.com/NVHvaKl62I
— Asslan Khalil ???? (@KhalilAsslan) September 29, 2022
According to the Abraham Initiatives, a group lobbying against violence in the Arab community, 125 Arabs were killed last year in Israel in community violence — an all-time record. Since the beginning of 2022, another 81 have been killed in incidents of violence.
The group said the vast majority of deaths this year, 68, were people who were gunned down.