Violence in Israeli Arab Community Reaches Grim Milestone as 100th Victim Shot Dead

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Members of Israel's Arab community who have been murdered in 2021.
Members of Israel's Arab community who have been murdered in 2021.

An Arab man was shot dead in northern Israel on Monday morning, as the death toll from crime in Israel's Arab community reached a tragic landmark of triple figures for this year. 

Emergency services arrived at the scene in Ba'ana, where the man was in a critical condition, but declared him dead soon after.

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The 44-year-old man, Salim Hasarma, was from the village of Ba'ana and represents the 100th death in the Arab community this year from crime-related violence. 

Salim Hasarma.

The victim had no criminal background, but his family was in conflict with another family. Police believe that his murder took place in this context. 

A relative of the victim told Haaretz that Hasarma's murder occurred in the context of an ongoing struggle for control of the area. 

According to the relative, Hasarma was a contractor who built stone fences. He was married with three children and his brother was also murdered two years ago.

Israel Police said they are investigating the incident, and are searching the vehicle from which the shooting took place. 

The crime scene in Deir al-Asad on Monday.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned of the consequences of growing violence in the Israeli Arab community. 

“We are losing the state,” he said at a cabinet meeting about the violence in the Arab community, where they voted to expand police powers to fight the crime epidemic.

The amendment, proposed by Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar, gives police the right to conduct a warrantless search upon reasonable suspicion that an object connected to a serious crime – including weapons and protection charges – is present. The power would only be granted in cases where the object is needed immediately in order to prevent it from being damaged or disposed of. 

According to the Abraham Initiatives organization, of the 100 members of the Arab community killed in the past year, 85 were citizens and 15 were residents of East Jerusalem. Of those killed, 13 were women, 83 of the cases involved a firearm, and 48 of the victims were younger than 30.

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