Two Men Killed in Clash Between Bedouin Families in Southern Israel

A quarrel that began on Friday when youths fired guns from their car the town of Kseifa ended with a vehicle running over members of a local family, killing two men and wounding 16 others.

A file photo showing the Bedouin town of Kseifa in southern Israel.
Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Two men were killed and 16 others were injured, one of them seriously, on Saturday night in the Bedouin town of Kseifa in southern Israel during a violent clash between members of a local family and youths from neighboring villages.

When shots were fired in the air from a car passing through the town and members of the Al-Amur family went outside at the sound of the shooting, another vehicle arrived at the scene and ran them over. Yosef Al-Amur, 37, was killed and 16 others were injured by the vehicle. Guma al-Amur, 50, was also killed, but the circumstances of his death are unclear. Police on Sunday arrested two suspects, and said more arrests are expected.

The two men were both buried on Sunday in the town.

According to police, the fight broke out when members of one family arrived in the town by car and apparently began running over members of the Amur family.

A Kseifa resident said that the fight began on Friday, when youths from outside the town drove wildly through it. Members of the Amur family tried to stop the drivers and a fight broke out, ending only when police forces arrived at the scene.

According to the resident, on Saturday night the Amur family gathered on a road in the town after a few shots were fired in the air from a car that entered the town. A private vehicle then arrived at the scene and ran them over.

“The police force is operating at the site to restore calm and to locate, detain and transfer the suspects involved for interrogation,” police said.

Shiekh Ibrahim al-Amur said he called the police on Friday, but “a police car arrived late and nothing was done.” On Saturday, he added, police arrived an hour after the incident took place. However, he said residents still “trust the police to catch the criminals.”

Salem Abu Rabiyya, the head of the local council, called on the police to boost its presence in the town and in Bedouin communities in general. He said only one NCO was assigned to his town and the neighboring villages.