Three Shooting Deaths Among Israeli Arabs Within 24 Hours Signal Worrying Trend

A family feud was blamed for one of the murders, that of the former deputy mayor of Kafr Qasem ■ Murders bring community's total for 2020 so far to 47

The scene of a shooting in Petah Tikva, July 19, 2020
The scene of a shooting in Petah Tikva, July 19, 2020Credit: Petah Tikva rescue service spokesperson

Three Israeli Arabs were murdered in a stretch of less than 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday evening, Samir Omariyeh, 50, was shot to death in the northern town of Ibtin. Three other people were wounded in the incident.

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On Sunday morning, Hussein al-Turi, 55, of Kafr Qasem, was murdered in Petah Tikva. Kafr Qasem residents said al-Turi, who owns a cement factory and served in the past as the town’s deputy mayor, was killed due to a family feud.

Also Sunday morning, Adham Bishara, 55, was shot to death in Tira.

Since the start of the year, 47 Israeli Arabs have been murdered, of whom 37 were shot. Seven of these 47 victims were killed in the past 30 days, according to the Abraham Initiatives, which works in the Arab community. The organization said eight of this year’s victims were women.

One of the murder victims, Hussein al-Turi

Al-Turi, a father of four, was shot at a construction site near Petah Tikva’s Ganim intersection. Kafr Qasem Mayor Adil Badir said al-Turi, who was well-known in his hometown, was killed due to a family feud that has claimed seven victims so far.

“Al-Turi was actually one of the chief advocates of a conciliatory policy that sought to end this bloody conflict,” he added. “But over the last two weeks, tensions have risen. We took action on the matter, but unfortunately, this grave incident happened this morning.”

Kafr Qasem residents said the feud began years ago due to a business dispute over the cement factory.

Police have put a gag order over most of the details of the incident in Ibtin. All four victims in that incident were taken to the hospital, but Omariyeh was pronounced dead on arrival.

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