Two Israeli Arabs Killed in Suspected Family Feud Shootings

Police detain two brothers suspected of involvement amid spike in fatal cases of gun violence in the Arab community

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The shooting scene on Route 6 in Israel, December 28 2020.
The shooting scene on Route 6 in Israel, December 28 2020.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Two men were killed in separate shootings on Monday in what police suspect was the continuation of a feud between two Israeli Arab families.

Salman Azberga was shot dead in the Tel Aviv suburb of Lod and hours later two members of the Abu Saluk family were shot as they were leaving Lod in a car while under police protection, with one being killed and the other critically wounded.

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Police initially thought they were witnessing an accident and did not chase the shooter’s car. Police later arrested two suspects in Azberga’s killing.

Police later reported that they arrested two brothers from Lod, aged 21 and 23, for suspected involvement in the shootings of the Abu Saluk family on Israel's Route 6.

The shootings joined the list of 97 Israeli Arab victims of murder this year, the highest figure in about 20 years.

People began throwing rocks in the compound belonging to one of the families in Lod after the shootings, and a car was set on fire. 

The feud between the two families began in 2010 when the Abu Saluk family, known as an organized crime family, began to renovate a mosque near the central bus station in Lod. A member of the Azberga family who came to pray in the mosque was kicked out. He then called his family and a fight broke out at the scene, which included the use of weapons and resulted in Ibrahim Abu Saluk fatally stabbing Suliman Azberga.

Police suspect the shooting on Route 6 was linked to the murder of Salman Azberga, who was killed in Lod on December 27, 2020.

Ibrahim Abu Saluk was charged with murder and later convicted of manslaughter in a plea bargain agreement, in light of his claims that he acted in self-defense. He was sentenced to seven years in prison, and many of his family members moved to Kafr Qasem.

The Azberga family sought revenge for the death of Suliman Azberga and to keep the Abu Saluk family from returning to Lod. A long-term feud broke out between the two families, leading to a number of killings in recent years.

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