Shooting linked to Palestinian criminal groups in northern Israel kills 5

Five people were killed in a shootout Thursday in an Arab town in northern Israel, police said, the latest in a wave of criminal violence tearing Palestinian communities across the country.

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, a gunman arrived at a car wash in the town of Yafa an-Naseriyye, near the city of Nazareth, and opened fire. He quoted police as saying they believed the shooting was linked to a dispute between organized crime families.

Shortly after, a shooting in a nearby Arab town seriously injured a 30-year-old man and a 3-year-old girl, police said. The circumstances of this shooting and the identity of the two wounded were not immediately known.

The Palestinian sector of Israel has long suffered from poverty, discrimination, crime and national government neglect.

Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir promised to crack down on crime in the Palestinian sector of Israel when he took office late last year. But the violence has only gotten worse, with nearly 100 people killed this year.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “shocked” by Thursday’s killings. “We are determined to end this chain of killings,” he said.

He vowed to enlist Israel’s internal security agency Shin Bet – whose main task is to monitor the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip – in the effort.

But Merav Michaeli, leader of the opposition Labor Party, blamed Netanyahu’s government for the escalating violence.

“It’s the exact opposite of what the boss promised,” she said. “The worst police minister in history. A disgraceful government. Go home.”

Thursday’s shooting is separate from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has seen more than a year of violence erupt in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. This fighting has resumed since the new far-right Israeli government took office in late December.

Nearly 120 Palestinians have been killed in the two areas this year, nearly half of whom were members of armed militant groups, according to an AP tally. The military says the number of militants is much higher. Meanwhile, Palestinian attacks targeting Israelis have killed at least 21 people.

Leave a Comment