Photo Credit: Yehonatan Valtser/TPS
Police forensics vehicle in a street in Jerusalem. Jerusalem, Nov 7, 2019.

Four Israeli Arabs were murdered in criminal-related violence over the weekend, bringing the total of Israeli-Arabs killed in criminal acts to 81 since the beginning of the year.

Nur Ajaj, a 26-year-old resident of the Bedouin Segev Shalom area who married and a father of four was found dead in a vehicle Sunday morning that was set on fire. Police suspect that the victim was shot dead before his vehicle was set on fire.


On Saturday, Abed Kurmata, 26, from Jaljulia in the north, was killed in Kafr Qassem. He was seriously injured and was taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, where he was pronounced dead.

Earlier Saturday, Anas Wachwach, 18 from Lod, was shot dead in front of his mother. He is suspected to be the victim of a tribal feud.

On Friday night, Ibrahim Abu Amra, 26, of Tel Sheva in the Negev, was killed. Unknown individuals shot him at close range near his home. He was rushed in critical condition to Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva, where doctors were forced to announce his death. He is suspected of being killed in a conflict between rival families.

The police have launched an investigation into all the incidents.

Chief of Police Yaakov Shabtail is set to hold a special meeting on Sunday to discuss the alarmingly high crime-related death rate in the Arab sector.

Arab-Israeli society is plagued with daily incidents of violence. Over 110 Arabs were killed in criminal violence in 2020.

The police increased its activity against the plague of shootings and weapons offenses in recent years, and in 2020 arrested 5,713 suspects in shootings and other weapons crimes throughout the country, an increase of 22% compared to 2019.

The vast majority of police activity was carried out in the Arab sector, and about 90% of the suspects arrested for shooting and weapons offenses were Arab Israelis.

Approximately 85% of the indictments filed in Israel in 2020 for shooting, illegal possession of weapons, trafficking, and illegal use of weapons have been filed against suspects from the Arab society.

Data shows that Arab-Israelis are involved in about 57% of all murder cases, 55% of the attempted murder cases, 59% of the arson incidents, 45% of the robberies, and 26% of drug cases.

Israelis Arabs represent about 20 percent of the general population.


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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.