18-year-old Arab Shot Dead in Suspected Vengeance Killing in Israel's South

The murder in Bedouin town represents the 119th murder in Israel's Arab community this year

Nati Yefet
Nati Yefet
Muhammad Abu Omar of the Bedouin town of Laqiya killed on Saturday.
Muhammad Abu Omar of the Bedouin town of Laqiya killed on Saturday.Credit: The victim's family
Nati Yefet
Nati Yefet

An 18-year-old was shot to death in the Negev on Saturday, police reported, marking the 119th murder in the Arab community this year.

The victim has been identified as Muhammad Abu Omar of the Bedouin town of Laqiya. He was taken to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva but was pronounced dead.

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Police of have opened an investigation into the incident, but believe that he was shot by the Al-Ravidi crime family in a vengeance killing.

This is the fourth person killed in the conflict between the two families. A year ago, a couple from the Al-Ravidi family was also murdered in a vengeance killing, and before that someone else from the Abu Omar family.

This is also the 119th murder victim in a particularly deadly year for Israel's Arab community, which experienced a staggering rise in crime and intercommunal violence. In the country's north, Arabs are involved in 99 percent of shootings and murders.

Police have increased their efforts to tackle the proliferation of firearms in Arab towns. Last month, police arrested 65 suspected arms dealers in an unprecedented sweep operation.

However, the country's police have regularly come under fire for their handling of the rising crime wave. In a recent presentation to the government, police representatives outlined their plan to reduce crime in the Arab community by 10 percent in 2022.

After receiving blowback for their goal of 100 murders in 2022, Israel's Public Security Ministry Omer Bar-Lev was demanded to present a more ambitious goal. The government also allocated 2.4 billion shekels ($780 million) as part of a national five-year plan to combat crime and violence in the Arab community.

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