Israel Police are investigating the killing of an Arab man at Jaffa port on Saturday afternoon, after he was found unconscious with bullet wounds in the sea.
According to witnesses, the shooters spotted the victim – identified as 38-year-old Abed Kazaz – in the port parking lot. He fled and jumped in the water in an attempt to escape but was hit by gunfire. The assailants escaped the scene in their vehicle.
Kazaz was pulled from the water by paramedics from a nearby COVID test center. He was then transferred to Wolfson hospital, where he was declared dead.
Kazaz, an Arab resident of Jaffa, had a criminal record. He was sentenced to six years in prison in 2007 for the murder of Khader Daka, who allegedly mediated in a dispute between the owners of Benny Hadayag, a fish restaurant in the old Tel Aviv port.
The hit on Daka was ordered by Izzat Hamad, one of the senior figures of Jaffa's organized crime world. Hamad was shot dead two months ago.
In 2013, Kazaz was also convicted of a hit-and-run, ramming into an officer with his motorcycle at a police checkpoint.
The killing represents the 103rd death in the Arab community in Israel this year from crime-related violence. Thirteen of the victims have been women, while 50 were under the age of 30. In 86 of the cases, the victim was killed by gunfire.
Also on Saturday, a demonstration took place in Misgav Regional Council in northern Israel to protest police incompetency in handling crime in the Arab sector.
Last week, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned of the consequences of growing violence in the Arab community, as the cabinet voted to expand police search powers to fight the violence.
“We are losing the state,” he said at a cabinet meeting about the violence in the Arab community.