A man was shot to death in Bat Yam on Thursday afternoon in what appears to have been a premeditated murder sparked by a quarrel earlier in the day.
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The shooting occurred at about 3:45 P.M. at the corner of Rothschild and Balfour streets in the suburb south of Tel Aviv — two short blocks from the beach, where thousands of people were enjoying their summer vacation.
Police are still searching for the gunman.
The incident began earlier in the day, when a fight erupted between two men at the site. It’s not yet clear what the fight was about, but it ended when one of the men left.
About 20 minutes later, however, an unidentified man drove up on a motorcycle and shot one of the men involved in the fight in the head at point-blank range.
Upon hearing the shot, beachgoers began to flee in panic. At first, many thought it was a terror attack, but it soon became clear that it wasn’t.
Zachi Heller, a spokesman for the Magen David Adom ambulance service, said paramedics attempted to resuscitate the wounded man, who appeared to be about 30 years old. But they were soon forced to pronounce him dead.
Hagai Natani, a senior MDA medic, said that when he arrived on the scene, the victim, who had suffered gunshot wounds to his upper body, was unconscious, had no pulse and wasn’t breathing.
By sheer coincidence, earlier that day, charges had been filed against three people on account of a very similar murder in Bat Yam in January 2010. Mor Algrabli, 20, was shot dead by a motorcycle gunman while sitting in his car. A passenger in the car with him at the time was seriously wounded.
According to the indictment, which charged some of the defendants with murder and others with abetting murder, they killed Algrabli because they had quarreled with him and his father. Algrabli had a criminal record, and at the time the suspects were arrested, police said they thought the murder stemmed from a dispute among local Bat Yam criminals.