ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 145

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Young woman shot dead in north: ‘They didn’t want her to work or study’

Victim named as Dima Bushnak, 19; relatives say she had received threats over her plans; killing is 78th in Arab community since start of the year

Dima Bushnak, 19, who was shot and killed on May 15, 2023 (courtesy)
Dima Bushnak, 19, who was shot and killed on May 15, 2023 (courtesy)

A young woman was declared dead after being gunned down in the northern village of Sallama overnight, medics and Hebrew media said early Monday.

The victim, named in reports as Dima Bushnak, 19, was shot just before midnight Sunday in her car near her home in the Bedouin village some 17 kilometers (10 miles) north of Nazareth in the Upper Galilee.

She was declared dead after being rushed to Ziv hospital in Safed in critical condition, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said.

Family members told the Ynet news site that Bushnak had been receiving threats over her lifestyle.

“Just because Dima wanted to get ahead in life, there are some people that decided to threaten her life and in the end killed her,” they were quoted as saying without identifying those who had threatened her.

The report said that she had been working in a business in the town and planned to continue her studies at the University of Haifa.

“They did not want her to work or study,” the relative said.

Police did not say if there were any suspects and did not name a motive.

Bushnak’s killing marked the 78th violent slaying in the Arab community so far this year, a massive jump from the 30 victims registered at the same point last year, according to the Abraham Initiatives anti-violence watchdog.

She is the sixth female Arab to be killed and the 15th woman killed in Israel this year.

Nationwide, over 90 suspected murders have taken place since the start of 2023, more than double last year’s rate, which itself was higher than previous years.

Surveillance video of the shooting aired by the Kan public broadcaster appeared to show Bushnak’s vehicle trying to speed away in reverse, before it crashes against a low wall.

A man then runs up and fires into the driver’s side of the car. The man takes off, but quickly returns, firing at least one more bullet before running out of frame. A second car is then seen speeding away.

Police minister Itamar Ben Gvir, the far-right lawmaker who campaigned on promises to beef up public safety, has largely stayed quiet on the soaring crimewave, mainly impacting members of the Arab community and women.

Mansour Abbas, head of the Islamist Ra’am party, criticized Ben Gvir earlier this month for not tackling crime in the Arab community, saying there had been a 250% increase in murder cases on his watch.

“If the national security minister is not functioning, then Likud should please put a deputy minister in that ministry, a special czar in charge of crime and violence, because we are paying with the lives of civilians,” Abbas said in a Channel 13 interview.

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