Couple, Teenage Daughter Gunned Down in Northern Israel

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The family's car, near Ailabun Junction, Saturday.
The family's car, near Ailabun Junction, Saturday.Credit: Gil Eliahu

A couple and their teenage daughter were shot dead in their car near the Arab town of Ailabun in northern Israel on Saturday afternoon, the Magen David Adom rescue service reported. Police suspect that the shooting was part of an inter-family conflict. 

Yousef Jarushi, 58, and his wife Noel, 46, were pronounced dead after suffering gunshot wounds, as was their 16-year-old daughter. 

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The couple's 8-year-old daughter, who was outside the car, was also wounded in the shooting, and was treated at the scene for her injuries and for shock before being evacuated to a hospital, a Magen David Adom medic said. 

Yousef and Noel Jarushi

The victims were residents of the central Israeli city of Ramle, who moved about a month ago to the town of Deir Hanna, some six kilometers away from where the car was found. 

Police suspect that the family was murdered as an act of retaliation in an internal feud within the Jarushi crime family, and that they were shot from a passing car. A short while after the incident, a torched car was found in the north with what appears to be an AK-47 rifle, which police suspect is connected to the shooting. 

At the center of the feud is Zayed Jarushi, head of the Jarushi family, who has been currently fighting for leadership of the clan against his cousins Hatam and Amir.

Hatam, 42, was murdered last month, at the end of Ramadan. He was stabbed to death as he arrived at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem to pray. After his murder, dozens of families from Ramle moved to villages in the north, East Jerusalem and other regions, fearing reprisals.    

Yousef Jarushi, who was murdered Friday, is Zayed's brother. A man who knew him well told Haaretz that Yousef was "not a major criminal." He added, "He was pretty much caught up in the situation, not to mention his wife and daughter." The same man added that Yousef had dealt drugs in the past and served time in prison, but since his release, he became devoutly religious and distanced himself from crime.  

The National Council of Arab Mayors in Israel responded to the shooting: "Once again, lawlessness wages, and once again weapons in the hands of criminals take human lives." The council called on the new government "to punish the perpetrators and to stop this madness immediately. Our lives will no longer be cheap, we don't want to hear any more talk – we are calling about immediate action."  

Knesset member Mossi Raz (Meretz) presented an urgent proposal to add crime in the Arab community to the Knesset agenda on Saturday night. "Without sufficient enforcement and a 'zero tolerance' policy regarding illegal weapons and criminal elements, the lawlessness will continue, and the raging weapons [proliferation] will continue taking lives," he said in a statement.  

Since the beginning of 2021, The NGO Abraham Initiatives says that 47 people have lost their lives in acts of violence and crime in Israel's Arab community. Of those, 39 were Israeli citizens. Six of them were women, and 23 of them were aged 30 or below. Thirty-nine of the victims lost their lives in shootings. 

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