A 24-year-old woman identified as Hanan Abu Hait was shot and killed while sitting in her car near her home in Haifa early on Monday morning, Israel Police have confirmed.
Abu Hait, who was a mother to a five-year-old son, was discovered shortly after 1 a.m. with multiple gunshot wounds on her body and no sign of life, and the Magen David Adom team who were called to the scene were forced to determine her death, a senior MDA medic confirmed.
"When we arrived at the scene, we saw a young woman about 24 years old unconscious, not breathing, and with no pulse," he said. "She had penetrating wounds. We performed medical tests and unfortunately, we could not save her and had to determine her death."
A police investigation has been opened in order to determine the circumstances surrounding her death, and although unverified reports have stated that her death was the result of a feud between two warring crime families, police have stated that Abu Hait had no previous encounters with law enforcement.
The search for the perpetrator is ongoing.
Speaking to Israeli news outlet Ynet, a witness to the event recounted: "It was scary. I was still awake, and I heard gunshots. It wasn't one or two shots -there was a bunch. Seven, eight, or maybe ten...Until the police arrived, I didn't dare leave my house to see what happened...Then the ambulances and police arrived and we realized it was a murder."
This incident comes on the heels of more than 20 other violent incidents in the last two weeks, according to N12. On Saturday, a 19-year-old resident of the Arab village of Sandala in the North was killed in a shooting incident near the entrance to the Gan Ner village, south of Afula.
This was one of four shootings across the nation on Saturday.
Femicide in Israel
IN 2022, 24 women were killed in Israel in cases defined as femicide or suspected femicide, an increase from 2021, during which 16 women were killed. And in the first quarter of 2023, the trend seems to be continuing, with the number of women killed in acts of gender-based violence threatening to rise past the limits of the previous year.
Similarly concerning statistics are emerging from other minority sectors in Israel – namely, the Arab sector. So far this year, 68 violent murders have been carried out in Israeli-Arab communities, four of them against women. Over the 12 months of 2022, 116 murders were recorded in total, indicating that the total number of lives lost in 2023 will be much higher.
Shira Silkoff contributed to this report. This is a developing story.