Man From Bedouin Town Accused of Murder of Teenager in Neighbor Feud

The 26-yeard-old shooter from Hura in southern Israel shot dead his neighbor in May following a violent feud between their families

Nati Yefet
Nati Yefet
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A Border Police truck at the scene of the incident on Monday night.
A Border Police truck at the scene of the incident in Hura, in May.Credit: Police spokesperson
Nati Yefet
Nati Yefet

A 26-year-old resident of the Negev Bedouin town of Hura was indicted on Thursday with murder under aggravated circumstances of a 16-year-old boy from the village in a feud between their families.

Five relatives of the alleged shooter, Habib Abu al-Kiyan, men in their 20s, were charged with a number of violent offenses related to the neighbor feud. According to the indictment, two other shooting incidents occurred before Habib Abu al-Kiyan shot and killed Idris Abu al-Kiyan in May.

The feud stemmed from a quarrel between a relative of Habib – Adel Abu al-Kiyan – and two teens from the other family, that bears the same last name. According to the indictment, Adel attacked the teens with an iron rod and choked them when the teens’ flock of sheep mixed in with his flock. Adel claimed that the diseases in the other flock were infecting his flock. At one point one of the teens grabbed the rod and struck Adel in the head, requiring stitches.

In one of the incidents presented in the indictment, in April, two of Adel’s sons and two of his nephews lay in wait for the teens’ older brother and shot at him, but he managed to flee the scene. About a month later, Habib saw one of the teens on the street where the two families live, and shot at him. In that instance as well, the intended victim was able to get away.

Following that incident, a melee broke out between dozens of young men from both families during which Habib allegedly shot Idris from 50 meters away as he fired at the other family. The indictment states that the relatives on his side “tried to prevent him from continuing to shoot, grabbed him and moved him.”

Idris, who was shot in the shoulder, tried to run toward one of the houses, and collapsed on the way. He was later declared dead at Soroka Medical Center, Be’er Sheva. Habib is the only one of the six suspects charged with murder. He and the other suspects are charged with other offenses, among them causing serious bodily harm, transporting and carrying firearms, threats and intentional property damage.

After Idris Abu al-Kiyan's murder, all the men of Hura left the town for a few days, until an agreement was reached to stop the violence between the two sides.

The overall death toll from violence in the Arab community in Israel since the beginning of 2022 stands at 60.

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