Two Young Arab Men Shot to Death, Raising Number of Murders This Year to 77

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A crime scene in Lod in August.
A crime scene in Lod in August.Credit: Ilan Assayag

Among the latest in a string of homicides in Israel’s Arab community, a 26-year-old man was shot to death Saturday night in Kafr Qasem, northeast of Tel Aviv.

The victim, Abdel Aziz Qurmata, was a resident of Jaljulya, just to the north. Police suspected him of criminal involvement. Five months ago he was suspected of trading in weapons. Three years ago he was suspected of firing a weapon in Jaljulya.

On Sunday, in another murder, the body of a man identified as Nur Ajaj Abu Shalufi was found in his burning vehicle on a highway near Moshav Hagor in the Sharon region, northeast of Tel Aviv. There were signs of gunfire on the vehicle.

Since the beginning of the year, 77 Israeli Arabs have been killed under circumstances involving violence or criminality, and another six were killed by the police, according to the Abraham Initiatives, which promotes equality and coexistence among Israeli Arabs and Jews. Eleven of the slain were women, and 61 of the killings were committed with a firearm.

These two most recent murders followed two others over the weekend. On Saturday, an 18-year-old Lod resident, Anas Wahwaah, was shot to death while sitting in a parked car near the town’s market with his mother at his side. Police believe the killing was the result of a prolonged dispute between the teen’s family and another family in town, and that it was carried out in revenge for the killing of Husam Musrati in Lod about three weeks ago.

Wahwaah was not directly involved in the conflict, police believe, but was likely killed because he was considered an easy target. A senior police source added that the circle of victims in the family dispute is broadening.

A man in his 30s was shot to death on Friday night near his home in the southern Bedouin town of Tel Sheva. Ibrahim Nasser Abu Amra was shot on the street and pronounced dead at Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.

The weekend before, a 28-year-old woman, Lorin Tefal, was shot and killed in her car in Ramle. Police are investigating the possibility that she was targeted due to family opposition to her having moved with her children out of her in-law’s house, following the shooting death of her husband in 2015.

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