The murder of 16-year-old Qais Abu Siam of Rahat has inflamed already heated relations between his family and those of the suspects in the case, and the police have been asked to increase their patrols, even staking themselves out on the rooftops of several homes.

But there are also those among the Bedouin who are looking to end the blood feud with dialogue.

About 10 days ago, an affair incited by the murder of another member of the Abu Siam clan was brought to an end with a sulha, a traditional Arab ceremony of reconciliation.

At the sulha, the two sides agreed to put behind them the murder of a young pregnant woman from the Abu Siam clan by her mother-in-law, which took place in February in the heat of an argument.

According to the indictment presented to the Be'er Sheva District Court, the 50-year-old killed her daughter-in-law with a gun she took from a safe in the family's home, and afterward attempted suicide, but survived with moderate injuries. According to the indictment, relations between the two women had been difficult for a long time.

Between the murder and the presentation of the indictment, various parties to the affair tried to inflame the atmosphere within the Abu Siam clan, but the sulha agreement was signed nonetheless at the home of the murdered woman's father in Lod at the beginning of last week.

Dozens of notables attended the ceremony, including Salim al-Hozeel, a respected Bedouin figure, and Talal al-Qarnoi, the former mayor of Rahat.

The agreement says that the family of the mother-in-law will not fund her legal defense, attend her trial, or visit her in jail (on the assumption that she is found guilty ), essentially ostracizing her. On the other side, the family of the murdered woman agreed not to seek revenge.

At the end of the meal celebrating the reconciliation, Yusef Abu Siam, the father of the murdered woman, said that he "wants everyone to know that there is no need to spill more blood. It is impossible to blame an entire family in this case."

Mansur Abu Siam, a cousin of the accused murderer, said his family "is glad about the treaty. We see that the father of the murdered woman is a good man."