Bedouin Man Shot Dead in Northern Israel

The 47-year-old contractor from the Lower Galilee is the 79th person killed amid gun violence in the Arab society in 2019

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Police forces at Ibtin Junction, the lower Galilee, Israel, November 1, 2019.
Police forces at Ibtin Junction, the lower Galilee, Israel, November 1, 2019. Credit: Israel Police Spokesperson Unit

A 47-year-old Bedouin man from the Lower Galilee region was shot dead on Friday, raising the murder rate in Israel's Arab community to 79 since the beginning of 2019.

Police said they launched an investigation into the matter and are searching for the perpetrator.

At about 6:00 A.M. a man suffering from several gunshot wounds was brought in a private vehicle to the entrance of the Bedouin village of Ibtin, north of the northern town of Kiryat Tiv'on. He received initial medical treatment at the scene, and was later evacuated to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa in serious condition, where he was pronounced dead.

The man, Hussein Muhammed Khawaled, worked as a contractor, and left behind a wife and children. He resided in the northern Bedouin village of Khawaled, and is not known to the police.  

Israeli Arabs have launched nationwide demonstrations in recent weeks, protesting what they perceive as Israel Police inaction to handle rampant violent crime in their communities. Demonstrations were held in some 30 communities across the county, with protesters blocking main roads and chanting: "[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, Arab blood is not cheap."

In October, two convoys, composed of hundreds of vehicles, drove toward the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem to protest spiraling violence in the Arab community. The cars, which carried black flags, headed toward the Israeli capital from the north and south.

The police solved murders of Jews at almost twice the rate as those of Arabs this year, a Haaretz investigation has found. The police solved only 30 percent of murders of Arabs in 2019 so far, 22 out of 71, while in the Jewish community it solved 58 percent of murders, 21 out of 36.

The figures do not include the three civilians shot and killed by police this year. The police spokesperson declined Haaretz’s request for data on the number of murders solved – which is defined as cases in which indictments have been filed.