Two Arab citizens of Israel were shot dead in separate incidents in Acre and Jisr al-Zarqa on Wednesday, with another man seriously injured in Shfaram on Thursday rounding off a bloody Yom Kippur in Arab communities.
The 54-year-old resident of the predominately Arab city of Shfaram was shot and seriously wounded on Thursday, according to the police. The wounded man was the owner of a supermarket and was hit when a masked man on a motorcycle fired at the store, the police added.
Eighty-six Arab Israelis have lost their lives to violent crime this year so far, after 97 Israeli Arabs were murdered last year – the most in at least 20 years. Of the 86 cases this year, 69 involved firearms and 45 of the victims were under the age of 30, according to the non-profit organization Abraham Initiatives.
Days earlier, shots were fired at the home of the head of the police division for preventing crime in Israel's Arab community.
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Earlier this month, President Isaac Herzog called the violence a national emergency and said that “our tendency to use minimizing terms like ‘crime families,’ ‘clan feuds’ and ‘honor killing’ make it harder for us to really go to war on this problem.”
Last month, the police inaugurated a new department dedicated specifically to dealing with crime in the Arab community.