Four Men Murdered in Israeli Arab Communities in 24 Hours

Jack Khoury
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Ahmad Jamal Akri (L) and Yosef Abu Satya.
Ahmad Jamal Akri (L) and Yosef Abu Satya.
Jack Khoury

Three Israeli Arab men and a Palestinian man were murdered over the course of 24 hours, with police saying a family dispute was the motive for at least two of the killings.

Ahmad Jamal Akri, 29, of Kabul; Yosef Abu Satya, 23, of Nablus in the West Bank, Muhammad Badran, 20, of Jatt; and a man aged 65 of Lod whose details are under a gag order – were shot dead during the weekend.   

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Akri was shot dead in Kabul after members of the rival Akri and Rianne families got into an altercation that included live fire and firecrackers. The killing is the result of a longstanding feud between the families.

Muhammad Badran.

Despite of police presence in the village, fights often break out between the families and have so far led to a string of shootings, acts of arson and vandalism. In August, Ahmed Rianne was killed and several members of both families have been injured since as violence persists.

Abu Satya, from the West Bank, was shot dead shortly after midnight on Friday in the Bedouin city of Rahat, after a feud spiraled out of control between the Abu Satya and the Khamisa families who belong to the same extended clan. The police said they have opened an investigation into the incident.

On Thursday, Muhammad Badran was shot and critically wounded. He was taken to Hillel Yaffeh Medical Center in Hadera, where he was pronounced dead. Police have opened an investigation into the incident and have said that the circumstances surrounding the killing are probably criminal.

Haaretz reported in November that only about 20 percent of the murders in the Arab community since the beginning of the year have been solved, compared to 53 percent among Israeli Jews. In response, the police said they thoroughly investigate every violent incident without regard to the background of those involved “and invest a great deal of effort and resources to get to the truth.”

A team of ministry directors general headed by the acting director general of the Prime Minister’s Office, Ronen Peretz, studied the issue of crime in the Arab society, and submitted its findings to the committee.

The report makes for depressing reading: crime rate in Arab communities has jumped 50% in the past five years, and the rate of criminal convictions for Arabs is double that of Jews. The homicide rate among Arabs is seven times the rate among Jews. In 2019, nearly 100 Arabs were murdered. This year is on track to approach that number, which includes last month’s shocking murder of a woman by her ex-husband in the middle of the street.

Arabs dominate Israel’s serious crime statistics. Despite accounting for just 21% of the population, they commit 93% of shooting incidents, 64% of murders, 47% of robberies, 61% of arson incidents and 56% of all cases involving unlicensed guns.   

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