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Two Arab men killed in separate violent incidents on first day of new year

Stabbing and shooting deaths in two towns are latest apparent instances of homicides in community plagued by violent crime

Illustrative: A police vehicle at a suspected murder scene in Haifa, June 10, 2018. (Meir Vaknin/Flash90)
Illustrative: A police vehicle at a suspected murder scene in Haifa, June 10, 2018. (Meir Vaknin/Flash90)

Two Arab Israeli men were killed in separate incidents Friday, as 2021 opened with yet more deadly violence in the community.

In the town of Tira northeast of Tel Aviv, a 56-year-old man was stabbed to death Friday afternoon during a brawl, which was apparently rooted in a spat between neighbors. Police were investigating.

The man’s 20-year-old son was also stabbed and moderately wounded. He was taken to Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba for treatment.

Overnight a 21-year-old was shot dead in the northern town of Jadeidi-Makr. Police have launched a probe into the circumstances of his death.

Arab Israelis have long complained of a tide of violent crime in their communities — 2020 saw 96 homicides in the Arab population, representing a 50 percent jump in the murder rate among Arab Israelis in only four years.

Arab parliamentarians and civil society organizations have repeatedly decried the deadly plague of violence in their communities, where firearms and organized crime proliferate. They’ve accused Israeli authorities of failing to stem the tide of violence.

Read: Arab communities shattered, as organized crime fuels a skyrocketing murder rate

Monday saw a brazen expression of gangland violence, when one man was killed and another critically injured in a shooting on their vehicle while they were under police escort on the Route 6 highway.

Police suspect that the attack was in revenge for the shooting death of another man in the city of Lod the previous night, as part of a feud between families.

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