Ten Suspected Gang Members Arrested for Murder of 17-year-old in Northern Israel

Avi Tsitsuashvili was a bystander during a suspected hit on a rival crime family

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Avi Tsitsuashvili, who was shot and killed in Nahariya, Israel, January 13, 2020
Avi Tsitsuashvili, who was shot and killed in Nahariya, Israel, January 13, 2020

Ten people from northern Israel were arrested in connection to the murder of 17-year-old Avi Tsitsuashvili, who was shot and killed by mistake during an attempted targeted killing in the northern city of Nahariya last week. The police released the news of their arrest on Monday.

The 10 are suspected of being “soldiers” of a crime family in the city and are suspected of murdering Tsitsuashvili or being involved in the murder. They will be brought before a magistrate court judge in Haifa on Tuesday, where the police will request to extend their detention in custody. According to the police, all 10 were found in a hideout apartment in Atlit, south of Haifa, where they hid for a week after the murder.

Scene of the shooting in which Avi Tsitsuashvili, 17, was killed in Nahariya, Israel, on January 13, 2020 Credit: Magen David Adom

Tsitsuashvili, a 12th-grader, was shot last Sunday while walking down the street while the attempted assassination of another person was taking place. He was evacuated in serious condition to the Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya, but died from his wounds a few hours later. The target of the assassination was a 28-year-old resident of Acre who belongs to a crime family. He was seriously injured by gunshots.

The deceased teenager’s father works for the Nahariya municipality, which published its condolences after the boy’s death. “What could console you when your child is only 17, not having tasted life, killed while walking down the street? How can one explain such a thing?” the father told Haaretz last week. Thousands came to Tsitsuashvili’s funeral last Monday, including dozens of students and staff members from his school.

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