Man, 21, killed in south; 100th victim of violence in Arab community this year

A 21-year-old man from southern Israel was stabbed to death in the early hours of Saturday, becoming the 100th member of the Arab community to be killed so far this year in a crime wave that has claimed eight lives over the past year. People have taken their lives. 2 days.

According to preliminary reports, the youth, a resident of a Bedouin community in the Negev desert, was fatally stabbed during a scuffle with foreign workers near the southern city of Ofakim. Medics called to a deserted area near the city in the very early hours of Saturday morning found the victim with no signs of life, and with significant injuries, and were forced to declare him dead.

According to reports in Hebrew-language media, police have arrested two suspects and are investigating the murder. Ynet reported that police are investigating the possibility that the incident was a robbery.

The death came hours after an 18-year-old woman was shot dead in northern Israel on Friday, and less than two days after a deadly mass shooting in the northern Arab city of Yafa-Nasriye. killed five peopleOne of the worst single acts of violence in recent years.

thousands of arab israeli protested on friday against the killings, and demanded action by the authorities.

On Friday, police said their preliminary investigation into the murder of the teenager – later identified as Sarit Ahmed – found she was found sitting in her car outside her hometown of Kiara-Sumi in the western Galilee region with her upper body I was shot. The suspect who managed to flee from the spot.

A police car at the scene of a fatal stabbing on June 10, 2023 near the southern city of Ofakim, where a 21-year-old Bedouin man was found dead of his wounds in a scuffle with foreign workers, according to a preliminary investigation. (Israel Police)

According to Hebrew media reports, Ahmad has been threatened in the past over his sexual orientation, and in 2021, his brother was arrested and briefly imprisoned after filing a police complaint against him. Ahmed was forced to flee to a women’s shelter, but filed another police complaint last month after receiving additional threats from her brother.

At least 100 Arabs have been killed in violent circumstances since the beginning of the year, according to Abraham Initiatives, an anti-violence monitoring group, a huge jump from the 35 killings at this point in 2022.

Critics and protesters have pointed the finger at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose government was sworn in on December 29, 2022, as well as National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who was met by half a dozen former police chiefs abandon As on Friday the massive bloodshed continues.

Earlier this week, Netanyahu announced a decision form a steering committee Following a meeting with Arab parliamentarians to discuss “solutions to the wave of murders in Arab societies”.

Sarit Ahmed, 18, who was killed in a shootout in northern Israel on June 9, 2023 (Social media: (Used in accordance with section 27A of the Copyright Law)

He called for immediate action to tackle the crime wave.

On Thursday, Netanyahu said he was “determined to stop this series of murders” and would see to it not only by strengthening the police but also “with the help of the Shin Bet”.

Police, politicians and community leaders have struggled over the past several years to rein in the criminal activity fueling the rising violence, which has risen sharply in recent months.

Many Arab community leaders blame authorities and police for the crime wave, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore violence, including family feuds, mafia turf wars. and violence against women. The communities have also suffered years of neglect by the state authorities.

Deputy Commissioner Natan Bojna, head of a police unit fighting crime in the Arab community, resigned on Tuesday.

Experts say powerful Arab gangs have amassed vast amounts of illegal arms over the past two decades and are involved in drugs, arms and human trafficking, prostitution, extortion and money laundering.

Demonstrators take part in a demonstration against the killing of five Arab Israelis in the village of Yafa, west of Nazareth, on June 9, 2023. (Ahmed Gharabli/AFP)

On Friday, police said they have arrested 11 suspects in connection with the shooting in Yafa an-Nasriye.

Also on Thursday, a man aged in his 30s was shot dead, while another man was slightly injured in a drive-by shooting near the central city of Kafr Qasim. The car crashed after being shot, in which a 46-year-old woman was also injured.

Along with the two fatalities, a three-year-old girl and her father were seriously injured after being hit by gunfire in Kafr Kanna, which is like Yafa-e-Nasriye near Nazareth.

In light of the events, the Higher Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, an umbrella group representing the community, announced a general strike in the Arab community on Friday.

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