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Five killed in crime-related shooting in Arab-Israeli suburb


By Emily Rose

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Five men were killed in one of the deadliest crime-related shootings in Israel’s recent history on Thursday, in a suburb of the northern city of Nazareth, Israeli police said.

“We arrived at the scene with large forces and saw that it was a very difficult scene,” senior medic Ataf Salem from Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency services said, adding that “five wounded lay unconscious and suffered serious injuries to their bodies.”

The five men were treated and sent in critical condition to hospital, where they later died, medics said.

Israeli police said they had dispatched large forces to the area and were searching for suspects, confirming that the incident was criminal.

Videos on social media showed a car was still blazing after having gone up in flames following the shooting.

Deadly incidents of criminal violence and specifically of gun violence in Arab communities across Israel are well above the national average.

The incident comes just hours after a separate shooting in another Nazareth suburb that critically injured a 3-year-old girl and a 30-year-old man, according to Israeli emergency services.

According to the Abraham Initiatives, an organization tracking rising violence in Arab communities, 97 Arabs have been killed due to criminal violence in 2023. Among the 97, 86 were shot to death and 42 were under the age of 30.

“I am shocked by the terrible murder near Nazareth,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. “We are determined to stop this chain of murders.”

Two leading Arab lawmakers in the Israeli opposition singled out far-right national security minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who has vowed to crack down on crime.

“Those who really want to fight crime must fire Ben Gvir immediately,” said Ayman Odeh who heads the Hadash-Ta’al party.

(Reporting by Emily Rose;Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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