‘Like the Wild West’ — 4 Arab-Israelis murdered over the weekend

Israel’s police commissioner is reportedly convening an emergency situational assessment in response to the uptick in violence.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The body of a man was found in a burned car near Moshav Hagor in central Israel early Sunday morning, marking the fourth Israeli Arab to be slain over the weekend.

While the remains of the man have been sent to Abu Kabir Forensic Institute for investigation, police suspect that the victim is a resident of a nearby Arab municipality and that he was likely shot to death before the assailants torched his vehicle.

On Saturday, three other Arab-Israeli men were shot to death in separate incidents across the country, stretching from a southern Bedouin community to cities in the central region.

Anas Al-Wahwach, 18, was shot while sitting in his car in Lod on Saturday, in what police believe to be a revenge killing.

While the victim was a law-abiding citizen, having received a merit award for his volunteer work from the Ramon Foundation just a month ago, his family is said to be embroiled in a blood feud with a local clan.

“Anas was an outstanding student at his school, volunteering…as a judge in the Youth Community Court, at [ambulance service] Magen David Adom and was active in a youth movement,” said the Ramon Foundation in a statement after Al-Wahwach’s death.

“He was an example of the best youth in Israel, a true social leader who dreamed of leading a positive change in Arab and Israeli society. Anas was murdered a few months before he began his engineering studies, with his whole life ahead of him.”

Ibrahim Abu Amra, 26, was shot to death near his home in the Negev municipality of Tel Sheva. According to Ynet, police believe that Abu Amra was also shot as part of a family feud between warring clans.

Abed Kurma, also 26, was shot to death in Kfar Kassem, an Arab city near his hometown of Jaljulia.

The four murders bring the tally of Israeli Arabs slain since the beginning of 2021 to 81, as community leaders plead for government intervention to stymie the violence.

“Israel is partly a state of law and order and partly a Wild West,” the Committee of Arab Local Authorities in Israel said in a statement.

“The Negev and mixed [Jewish and Arab] cities have become battlegrounds that require a solution and targeted strategy. We are demanding that the police chief give an immediate explanation on how the police intend to combat the…violence; our blood will no longer be shed freely.”

Police commissioner Ya’akov (Kobi) Shabtai convened an emergency situational assessment on Sunday afternoon to respond to the uptick in violence, Ma’ariv reported.

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Two weeks ago, the Arab affairs advisor to the New Hope party was gunned down in broad daylight outside of his home in northern Israel.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on August 11th that the government was launching a special initiative aimed at reducing murder rates in Arab communities.

Since that announcement, seven Arab-Israelis have been killed and 23 wounded by gunfire.