19 Hurt, 1 Seriously, During Altercation in Southern Town of Rahat

Police increase presence in the city after internal family fight turns into gun battle.

Nineteen people were wounded, 1 seriously, during an altercation that broke out on Saturday in the Negev town of Rahat.

Five people were moderately hurt, while three others were lightly hurt. All of the wounded were taken to Soroka hospital in Be'er Sheva for treatment, according to Israel Radio.

The skirmish apparently began after a fight between children - all members of the Al-Karnawi family - led to an exchange of gunfire. Police broke up the fight and have since increased their presence in the city.

Magen David Adom dispatched dozens of ambulances to the scene and medical teams are treating the wounded.

One member of the Al-Karnawi family said that clubs, knives and guns were all pulled during the brawl. "The fight started because of nonsense," he said. "We are ashamed that such a thing could happen in our family."

He added that some members of the Al-Turi family, another Rahat clan, were also hurt trying to break up the fight. "People were almost killed because of a few crazy people," he said.