Two men were shot dead and a third was lightly injured in the Arab city of Tira on Saturday in what police suspect was revenge for the killing of two other men on Friday. Police have launched an investigation and have arrested four suspects.
All three victims were evacuated to the Meir Hospital in Kfar Sava where the first victim, Majed Sheikh Yusef, was pronounced dead, and the second victim, Iman Nasser, died several hours later.
Police believe that the murders are part of a conflict between two criminal groups in the city which has claimed more than 11 lives, and that Nasser was the one targeted for revenge while Yusef, was killed in the crossfire.
Eyewitnesses who worked at a nearby business told Haaretz that gunmen using an automatic weapon fired several times toward a café at a mall in Tira. Police later found 36 bullet casings found later on the floor. “It was really scary,” said another witness, who said that there were more than ten people who could have been hurt, including children.
Police suspect that the murders are related to a prior incident on Friday when two men aged 26 and 23 were shot dead while sitting in their car in Tira.
Mohammed Masri, who witnessed the incident said, “We heard a volley of shots which was really scary. We were frightened for our children. Suddenly, the neighborhood turned into one big mess.”
- The crime epidemic in Israel's Arab society is spreading to TikTok
- How young Arab women are lured into organized crime in Israel
- 'My Life Was Destroyed': The Living Victims of Israel's Murderous Blood Feuds
The police will request to extend the detention of the four suspects at the Rishon Letzion Magistrate’s Court in central Israel.
According to a count by Haaretz, at least 95 people have been killed by violence in Israel’s Arab community since the beginning of the year, ten of them women. Last year, 104 people were murdered within the same period.