Man Killed, 12-year-old Boy Critically Wounded in Jaffa Shooting

Family members accuse Israeli police of failure in combating organized crime in their community: 'We are cooperating but they're not doing anything'

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The scene of the shooting in Jaffa, June 16, 2020.
The scene of the shooting in Jaffa, June 16, 2020. Credit: Moti Milrod
Bar Peleg
Bar Peleg

A 20-year-old man was shot dead and a 12-year-old was critically wounded on Tuesday by a gunman on a motorcycle who fled the scene.

Farid Khalaf.

Police are investigating whether the boy may have been shot by accident.

The boy and the 20-year-old, identified as Farid Khalaf, were taken to Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. The older of the two was pronounced dead while the boy was transferred to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv due to the seriousness of his injuries.

The two were shot near a residential complex called the Daka Orchard, in an area with security cameras that likely filmed the incident. Among the residents at the complex are members of the Abu Seif family, some of whom have been linked to drug and weapons trafficking. Over a year ago, an 8-year-old boy was shot in the head by a stray bullet in the vicinity.

Naim Abu-Saif, a female relative of the boy, said he too was shot in the head. She said that he and the other victim were standing at the entrance to a vegetable shop and were hit by automatic weapons fire.

The woman charged that the police don't do enough to combat organized crime in Jaffa. “They shot at the two and fled. Where are the police? Where are the Border Police?” she asked. “I have never in my life seen such a thing. The police aren’t taking weapons from people, they just come in looking for drugs.” If there had been other customers at the scene, they would have been killed too, she remarked.

Another relative of the boy, Samir Abu Seif, told Haaretz that the police are apathetic to crime in Jaffa and "as far as they're concerned we can die." He said that the boy is the second to be shot in his family.

"Sabria Abu Seif was also murdered by a stray bullet and the suspect was in their hands but was released and never indicted," he said, referring to a 70-year-old woman who was shot dead by a stray bullet near the Daka Orchard last year. "We are cooperating [with the police] but they're not doing anything," he said, adding that he believed the boy was shot on purpose.

The municipality of Tel Aviv-Jaffa and the Israel Lands Authority have been trying in recent years to evict the Abu Seif family from the complex on grounds that they illegally took over the property. The family has been trying to come to an agreement with the authorities on the matter and have agreed to leave if they are given other land or monetary compensation.

Arab leaders have protested what they view as a lax response from the Israel Police to an uptick in organized crime in their community.

Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List political faction tweeted on Tuesday: “A 20-year-old young man was murdered and a 12-year-old boy was critically wounded this morning in Jaffa. Shot by murderers on a motorcycle. If he had been a Jewish boy, the government would have announced a plan to fight crime this very day. For us, they’re only a 20-year-old and a 12-year old, but to the government, they’re just Arabs.”

Lawmaker Aida Touma-Sliman said the government is delaying the implementation of a program to fight crime in Arab society that was proposed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "We were promised the national plan to address violence in the Arab community within 60 days. It's been 60 days, and another 60, and another 60 - and there is still no plan." 

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