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Video shows deadly drive-by shooting of Arab man at Haifa intersection

Police probing if car set ablaze nearby was used in shooting of Hosam Otman, the 76th Arab Israeli killed violently this year

Hosam Otman (Courtesy)
Hosam Otman (Courtesy)

New footage released Friday morning appeared to show a drive-by shooting in Haifa the previous night in which a young man was killed, amid a prolonged crime wave wracking Israel’s Arab community.

The victim, who was shot while driving in the northern city, was identified as 30-year-old Haifa resident Hosam Otman.

In the video, seemingly filmed from a camera in a car’s rear windshield, a white car can be seen stopping at an intersection when a black car driving behind the vehicle pulls up alongside it.

As the black car creeps forward, one of its rear doors opens and a man clutching a pistol partially emerges, shooting several times at the white car before closing the door as the vehicle drives off and turns onto another street.

The car filming the incident also accelerates as the white car, which Otman was apparently driving, remains at the intersection.

Following the shooting, Otman was taken by paramedics to Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Police opened an investigation into Otman’s killing and were probing if a car set ablaze near the scene of the shooting was used by the suspects.

No arrests have been announced.

News outlets that aired the footage Friday morning did not indicate where the video had been obtained, and whether the person filming was connected to the killing.

The deadly shooting in Haifa came after several others were killed over the past week, sparking an #Arab_Lives_Matter campaign on social media.

“We’re continuing to lose our kids and the government is continuing to do nothing. No words. #Arab_Lives_Matter,” tweeted Ayman Odeh, the head of the Joint List Knesset party and a resident of Haifa, following the shooting.

According to the Abraham Initiatives non-profit, 76 Arab Israeli citizens have been killed in homicides this year. In 2020, 96 Arab Israelis were killed in communal violence, by far the highest annual toll in recent memory.

Arab Israelis blame the police, which they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars and violence against women.

Israeli authorities are reportedly set to immediately recruit hundreds of new police officers and enlist the Shin Bet security agency in combating violent crime in Arab communities.

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