Shooting Death of 22-year-old Man Is 55th Homicide This Year in Israel's Arab Community

Ashraf Abu Arar was killed in what locals said was a dispute between families, in third murder in Israeli Arab community within a week

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File photo: A man walks past the municipality building in Kalansua, central Israel, September 9, 2019.
File photo: A man walks past the municipality building in Kalansua, central Israel, September 9, 2019.Credit: Amir Levy
Jack Khoury

Ashraf Abu Arar, a 22-year-old resident of Kalansua, an Arab town in the Sharon region north of Tel Aviv, was killed overnight between Saturday and Sunday in a shooting incident in the town.

Residents said the incident appears to have been the result of a dispute between two families. Police launched a manhunt for the killer.

The killing is reportedly the 55th homicide in the Israeli Arab community since the beginning of the year. In recent months, there have been a series of shooting incidents involving members of Abu Arar’s family and young people from the Takruri family, a resident of Kalansua told Haaretz. Repeated attempts in recent weeks to resolve the dispute were unsuccessful, the source said.

Ashraf Abu Arar.

“There’s a sense of a loss of control and a lost of restraint and a loss of deterrence. With both the coronavirus and the violence and shooting, there’s an atmosphere of internal collapse, and it’s not surprising that we’re afraid to have our names publicized when we speak, and it would also not be surprising if people begin leaving the city,” the source said.

The latest killing in Kalansua was one of a number of violent incidents in Israeli Arab communities over the past week. On Saturday, a man was seriously wounded in a shooting in Tira, not far from Kalansua, while another man was seriously wounded in a knifing in Jisr al-Zarqa, on the coast near Hadera.

On Friday, Samer Abu Fadel succumbed to injuries after being shot several hours earlier in his car in Kafr Qasem, northeast of Tel Aviv. Last week a 60-year-old man, Ahmed Rian, of the Western Galilee village of Kabul, was shot to death. Four others were wounded in the incident, including children ages 8 and 3 who suffered light injuries and a man who is in serious condition, as a result of a dispute between two families in the town.

According to data from the Abraham Initiatives, a nonprofit group that fosters coexistence between Jews and Arabs, since the beginning of the year 55 Arabs have been killed in Israel in homicides, including nine women. Sixteen of the victims were younger than 25. During the same period last year, there were 52 homicides in the Arab community. For the year 2019 as a whole, 89 Israeli Arabs were killed.

Last week, the mayor of the northern Arab town of Shfaram, Ursan Yassin, wrote to Public Security Minister Amir Ohana and to the acting chief of the Israel Police, Motti Cohen, demanding that law enforcement efforts be stepped up in Shfaram, saying that the police have failed to act as they should there.

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