A 30-year-old man shot overnight in the southern city of Beersheba died on Saturday morning, the second fatality in a number of hours as the deadly violence in the Arab community showed no sign of slowing.
Ahmad al-Jarjawi, a 30-year-old resident of the Bedouin town of Shaqib al-Salam, was shot when a gunman opened fire at a hookah café. He was taken to Beersheba’s Soroka Hospital where medics later declared his death.
Another man was moderately injured in the shooting.
A relative of Jarjawi said that the family was involved in a dispute with another family, but that it was not yet clear if this was the motive for the shooting.
“We have a dispute with another family but we do not want to say anything publicly if we do not know it is true,” the unnamed relative said.
Jarjawi was known to the police — videos and photos showing him carrying and using weapons have recirculated on social media since his death.
תיעוד: העבריין שנרצח הלילה בבאר שבע צולם יורה בנשק במהלך בילוי
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A photo of Jarjawi brandishing a gun while driving in Beersheba was even used in a tweet by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the run-up to the election earlier this year, saying a “vote for [my party] Yamina will bring security back to the Negev.”
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) September 25, 2021
Police said in a statement that they have opened an investigation into the shooting.
Violent crime has risen to record levels in Arab communities in recent years, with 77 Arab Israeli citizens killed in homicides since 2021 began, according to a tally by the Abraham Initiatives nonprofit. Last year, 96 Arab Israelis were killed in communal violence, the highest annual toll in recent memory.
Police and the government are facing accusations of inaction to stanch the wave of violence.
The Beersheba shooting came hours after a 55-year-old man was shot dead in the northern town of Nazareth.
Medics from the Magen David Adom emergency service were dispatched to the scene in Nazareth’s Salizian neighborhood where they found the victim unconscious with bullet wounds. After resuscitation attempts, the medics were forced to declare his death at the scene.
Hebrew media identified the victim as Na’im Mansouri, an ex-convict who was recently released from prison after serving a sentence for murder. Police told Army Radio that the background of the incident was a dispute between rival crime groups but that they had opened a probe into the incident.
Later on Friday, a 6-year-old boy and his parents were injured by gunfire in the northern town of Umm al-Fahm.
The child underwent surgery overnight, and was said on Saturday morning to be in serious but stable condition.
Those shootings incidents followed another murder late Thursday night, which took the life of 24-year-old Hosam Otman.
Otman was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Haifa. Footage released Friday seemingly filmed from a camera in a car’s rear windshield showed a white car stopping at an intersection when a black car driving behind the vehicle pulls up alongside it.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) September 24, 2021
Authorities have vowed to devote more resources to battling crime in Arab locales, after a series of recent shootings trigged the online #Arab_Lives_Matter campaign to protest the alleged lack of police action.
On Friday, police raided dozens of homes in Arab towns across northern Israel, arresting 15 people and seizing guns and cash, as part of efforts to crack down on surging violent crime in Arab Israeli communities.
Officers raided 63 homes in Arab and Druze towns across the north, arresting 15 suspects on suspicion of violence, extortion and money laundering. None of the suspects were named.
Police announced they seized large sums of money, without specifying how much. The statement said NIS 50,000 ($15,620) was found hidden in the bra of a suspect’s wife.
Cops also captured weapons and military equipment, according to the statement.
Police described the arrests as part of efforts to fight organized crime among Arab Israelis.