Two men were shot to death within the space of a few hours on Friday evening in Arab towns in Israel, bringing the total amount of homicides committed in Israel's Arabic sector to 101 since the beginning of 2020.
Ahmad Muhammad Jamal Akhri, 29, was shot to death on Friday evening during a brawl between two large families in the Arab town of Kabul, in the western Galilee.
According to police, Akhri was the only one injured in the brawl, before they arrived and cleared the area. An MDA team determined his death at the scene.
Only hours later, Israel police reported another large brawl between two families, this time in the predominantly Bedouin southern city of Rahat, in which 25-year-old Yousef Mahrus Abu Sata was shot and critically injured.
He was evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, where doctors determined his death shortly after he arrived unconscious, not breathing and without a pulse.
According to Israel Police, both cases are currently being investigated as homicides.
At the beginning of the year, hundreds of thousands of Arab citizens took to the streets in protest against the disproportionate amount of violence they were experiencing in their cities and towns.
While that brought the issue to the forefront of public and political discourse, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic struck Israel and removed it from the forefront of the national agenda.
In early November, the Prime Minister's Office introduced a 5-year plan to tackle the recent spike in violence in the Arab sector, which Arab MKs criticized as not tackling the root causes of the increase in violence, namely, education gaps and rising unemployment.
The “2018 Personal Security Index: Violence, Crime and Policing in Arab Towns” report, by the Abraham Initiatives, the Samuel Neaman Institute for National Policy Research and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, found that 61% of all murder and manslaughter victims in Israel in 2018 were Arab citizens, despite Arabs constituting only 20% of the Israeli population.
Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman contributed to this article.