Murder Suspect's Father Shot Dead, 115th Victim in Israel's Arab Community This Year

53-year-old resident of Yarka, in Israel's north, was found dead at a locksmith's shop with bullet wounds across his body

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Hayum Shehadeh.
Hayum Shehadeh.

A 53-year-old man was shot dead on Sunday in the northern Druze town of Yarka, in the 115th violent death in Israel's Arab community this year.

Emergency services reported that Hayum Shehadeh – the father of a defendant in another murder case – was found dead at a locksmith's shop with bullet wounds across his body.

Police have launched a murder investigation. No suspects have been identified, and police said they are working to determine the motive behind the shooting.

Yarka residents said that tensions have been simmering there since the victim's son allegedly killed a 30-year-old man, Sarhan Atallah, in July.

Last Thursday, a 32-year-old woman was shot dead in her home in the northern town of Maghar. Two suspects in the case were arrested on Friday.

According to the Abraham Initiatives NGO, she was the 15th Arab women murdered in Israel this year. The organization said that apart from the 115 people killed this year in circumstances related to violent crime, eight others were killed in police operations. Ninety-five of the overall fatalities died from shooting.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett defended last week the government’s efforts to combat violence in the community. “We are dealing in an orderly way with a problem that we have long learned to tolerate as unsolvable, chronic –  a problem that has long been repressed. Now, our job isn’t to take our foot off the gas pedal but to step on it harder than ever," he told a ministerial meeting.

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