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Woman, 32, shot dead at home in northern town

Police say no arrests made yet in Maghar after shooting of Rasha Sitawi; at least 22 women killed in apparent homicides in Israel this year, 15 of them Arab

Rasha Sitawi. (Courtesy)
Rasha Sitawi. (Courtesy)

A woman was shot dead in a home in the northern Druze-majority town of Maghar on Thursday afternoon, officials said.

The 32-year-old woman — who was identified as Rasha Sitawi — was pronounced dead at the scene by medics, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said.

According to Channel 12 news, Sitawi was at her parents’ house with her 6-year-old daughter at the time of the apparent homicide.

Police officers who were responding to a traffic accident in the area were called to the scene after gunfire was heard from the home, a law enforcement spokesperson said.

There were no immediate arrests made in connection with the shooting. Police said that officers were searching the area and collecting evidence.

The motive was not immediately clear.

A view of Maghar village (CC-BY Sharif Askalla/Wikipedia)

Arab communities have seen a surge in violence in recent years, driven mainly, but not only, by organized crime.

Since the beginning of 2021, at least 114 Arabs were killed in suspected homicides, according to the Abraham Initiatives nonprofit. Of them, 95 were Arab citizens of Israel and another 19 were Palestinians, either from East Jerusalem or with Israeli residency.

Arab Israelis blame police, who 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. The community has also suffered from decades of neglect.

So far in 2021, at least 22 women have been murdered in Israel, of whom 15 were Arab, according to the Abraham Initiatives.

On Sunday evening, a woman was stabbed to death in her home in the northern Arab town of Jadeidi-Makr. The 55-year-old woman — identified as Aisha Abadi — was pronounced dead at the scene. Police detained her husband in connection with the killing.

Overnight Wednesday, an East Jerusalem man was fatally shot in his car in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood of Jerusalem.

In August, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that violence and crime in Arab Israeli communities were a “national calamity.”

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