Two Dead, Two Wounded After Shooting in Israeli Arab City, Marking 26 Victims This Year

Witnesses of Qalansawe shooting say perpetrators broke into house and opened fire ■ Police say main avenue of investigation is crime family feud

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Police officers at the scene of the shooting, this morning.
Police officers at the scene of the shooting, this morning.

A 19-year-old and a 22-year old were shot dead and two others were wounded in the town of Qalansawe on Friday, bringing the death toll from gun violence in the Israeli Arab community to 26 victims so far this year.

Hundreds gathered to protest at the entrance to the city following the shooting.

According to witnesses, the killers broke into the house the victims were in and opened fire at close range. The police said that they still do not know if the shooter intended to kill all four individuals and that the incident is being looked at as part of a feud between crime organizations.

Leith Nasra

The victims, Leith Nasra, 19, and Muhammad Khatib, 22, were sitting with several friends at one of their houses when the gunmen arrived, shutting off the house's electricity and proceeding to fire in all directions.

Muhammad Khatib

Muhammad Khatib is the nephew of Qalansawe senior municipality official Ashaf Khatib, who was shot and seriously wounded last week in his car.

This comes amid a surge of shootings within Israel's Arab community who accuse police of failing to tackle the violence.

At least 26 Arab citizens of Israel have been shot dead this year, mostly by unknown assailants from within their towns and villages. The shootings, most often crime and gang related, have become a defining issue for the 21 percent minority ahead of a March 23 national election.

On Thursday, hundreds of people protested in Tel Aviv over the violence, with speakers accusing police of bias and calling for a national plan to address the problem.

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