Suspect seriously wounded in police shooting in coastal Arab town

Officers respond to reports of gunfire outside home in Jisr az-Zarqa, open fire on suspected shooter

Illustrative: A police car at the scene of a crime. (Israel Police)
Illustrative: A police car at the scene of a crime. (Israel Police)

A suspect in his 30s was seriously wounded overnight Saturday-Sunday in the coastal Arab town of Jisr az-Zarqa, north of the city of Caesarea, after being shot by police officers called to the scene of a shooting at a home in the city.

Police said officers were called to a home in Jisr az-Zarqa that was being shot at by the suspect, who then allegedly aimed his weapon at them. The officers opened fire, injuring the suspect who was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to the hospital.

Officers said they seized a “Carlo” weapon at the scene, otherwise known as the Carl Gustav submachine gun, a homemade or craft-produced rudimentary automatic weapon.

Police said officers opened an investigation into the shooting.

The incident came two days after one man 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.

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.

View of Jisr az-Zarqa on July 10, 2019. (Anat Hemrony/Flash90)

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.

Assault rifles seized by police officers following a shooting in Nazareth, September 29, 2022. (Israel Police)

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.

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.

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