Two Suspects Detained After Arab Man Shot Dead in Northern Israel

Suspects' homes set on fire ■Victim's death marks the 116th violent murder in Israel's Arab community this year, and the second this week

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A police checkpoint in northern Israel.
A police checkpoint in northern Israel.Credit: Gil Eliahu
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Police arrested two suspects over the killing of a 45-year-old man on Monday outside his home in Nazareth, marking the 116th violent death in Israel's Arab community this year.

The suspects were chased until they crashed into a track, and a pistol was found in their vehicle. Israel Police said the killing resulted from a feud between criminals gangs.

Hours after the arrests, the suspects' homes in Nazareth were set ablaze. Firefighters said the buildings were in danger of collapsing from the fire. 

The events came after a 53-year-old man, Hayum Shehadeh, was shot dead in the northern Druze town of Yarka on Sunday. Police have launched a murder investigation, but no suspects have been identified.

A young woman and mother of three was shot and killed in her home in the Galilee city of Maghar on Thursday. The case is being treated as a murder investigation. Police said Rasha Sitawi, 32, was at home with her 12-year-old daughter when the shooting occurred.

According to the Abraham Initiatives NGO, 116 people have been killed this year in circumstances related to violent crime in the Arab community in Israel, with eight others killed in police operations. Ninety-six of the overall fatalities died from shooting.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett defended last week the government’s efforts to combat violence in the community. “We are dealing in an orderly way with a problem that we have long learned to tolerate as unsolvable, chronic –  a problem that has long been repressed. Now, our job isn’t to take our foot off the gas pedal but to step on it harder than ever," he told a ministerial meeting.

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