Woman, man wounded in overnight shootings as crime wave continues

38-year-old woman badly injured in southern Bedouin town, 20-year-old man hurt on road in south, medics say

Police at the scene of a criminal shooting in Haifa, September 23, 2023. (Israel Police)
Illustrative: Police at the scene of a criminal shooting in Haifa, September 23, 2023. (Israel Police)

Two people were wounded in separate overnight shooting incidents, medics said Tuesday morning, as rampant criminal violence in Arab communities continued.

A 38-year-old woman was badly wounded in a shooting in the Bedouin town of Lakiya in southern Israel, the Magen David Adom emergency services group said.

The woman was rushed to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba for treatment.

In another shooting, a 20-year-old man was injured on Route 25 near the southern Bedouin town of Segev Shalom. He was also brought to Soroka Medical Center for treatment. His condition was not immediately clear.

Since the start of the year, there have been 193 violent crime fatalities in Arab communities, compared to 81 deaths during the same period last year, according to the Abraham Initiatives organization, which tracks the figures.

The total for this year amounts to a killing every 34 hours.

Almost all of the deaths were caused by firearms, and 12 of the fatalities were women.

Last week, a shocking mass shooting in northern Israel left five members of a Bedouin family dead.

The killings are part of a violent crime wave that has engulfed the Arab community in recent years. Many community leaders blame the police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence. They also point to decades of neglect and discrimination by government offices as the root cause of the problem.

Authorities have blamed burgeoning organized crime and the proliferation of weaponry, while some have pointed to a failure by communities to cooperate with law enforcement to root out criminals.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who is responsible for the police force, has also faced criticism that he is not doing enough to curb the violence.

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