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Mayor says incident apparently related to criminal dispute

Woman killed by car bomb in Ramle; passerby and her baby injured in explosion

6-month-old suffers moderate injuries, mother lightly hurt as they are caught in shock wave from blast in residential building’s parking lot

The scene of a deadly incident when a bomb exploded, destroying a car and killing a woman sitting inside, in Ramle December 26, 2021. (Israel Police)
The scene of a deadly incident when a bomb exploded, destroying a car and killing a woman sitting inside, in Ramle December 26, 2021. (Israel Police)

A woman was killed by a car bomb in the central city of Ramle on Sunday.

A second woman and her baby who were passing by at the time of the explosion were injured.

It was the fourth death this month believed related to organized crime and came amid government efforts to crack down on violence in Arab Israeli communities.

The midday blast set fire to a car parked in a lot of an apartment building. Another car parked alongside also caught fire and an adjoining building was also damaged.

Fire and rescue services arrived to extinguish the flames, which blazed close to the building’s gas storage area, and found the body of the victim in the burned-out wreckage of one of the vehicles.

Neither the woman’s name nor her age were immediately released for publication.

A second woman, 27, was lightly injured and her 6-month-old baby suffered moderate injuries as they were caught in the shock wave from the blast. The mother and child were taken to the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center for treatment.

Ramle Mayor Michael Vidal told the Kan public broadcaster he had spoken with emergency services informed him that a “large explosive charge” had been placed close to the vehicle in the building’s parking lot.

Videl said the incident was apparently related to a criminal dispute.

“We won’t allow such things to happen,” Vidal declared.

The victim was not known by police to be affiliated with any criminal organizations in the city, Channel 12 News reported.

Video from the incident showed that another car, parked alongside, was also destroyed by flames.

Israel Police said sappers were called to the scene and that it had opened an investigation.

The Abraham Initiatives nonprofit said that since the start of the year 123 Arabs have been killed in violent crime in Israel. Of those, 104 were Israeli citizens.

Of the incidents, 102 involved firearms and 16 of the victims were women, the group said.

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

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.

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