7-year-old Boy Moderately Wounded by Gunshot in Southern Israel

The boy was sitting in a car in the Bedouin city of Rahat when a shot was fired at him from a passing vehicle

Nati Yefet
Nati Yefet
Police outside of Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva in November
Police outside of Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva in NovemberCredit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz
Nati Yefet
Nati Yefet

A 7-year-old boy was moderately wounded by a gunshot Saturday in the city of Rahat in southern Israel.

The boy, Yusuf al-Finish, was sitting in a car when a shot was fired at him from another vehicle. He was brought by family members to a local Magen David Adom station and taken to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.

Israeli police said they have opened an investigation into the incident, and that they have detained a 30-year-old resident of Rahat as a suspect.

The boy’s father, Samir al-Finish, said he had taken his children out for some fresh air when his son Yusuf was shot. The family had been stuck at home for two weeks due to fears over the raging pandemic, he said. “We went to the store, we bought a few things, we headed back to the car, and suddenly we heard shots, four or five of them. I looked back and saw the kid bleeding,” he told Ynet. He drove straight to a Magen David Adom station, he said.

Following the incident, Rahat's mayor Faiz Abu Sahiban called on the police to take action: "What happened today is a horrible and horrifying event, but where are the police? They might be around at night, but during the day... this is something the police needs to answer for."

Separately, three suspects were detained for questioning in connection with another shooting incident Saturday morning that was part of an ongoing inter-family conflict.

On Monday, a one-month-old baby was moderately wounded by gunshot in the Negev region. His mother was lightly wounded as they were both taken to Soroka Medical Center. According to police, a fight broke out during which the two were injured. Police arrested one suspected of carrying a weapon.

Last month, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett toured the Negev region following rising crime in the area. During the visit to Rahat, Bennett expressed the state's responsibility to protect all citizens equally.

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