Arab youth's murder baffles police

Hours after Fahad Abu Hussein, 19, of Baka al-Gharbiya died on Sunday, a day after being shot in the head by an unknown assailant in Netanya, Sharon area police said they believed he had been attacked for criminal and not nationalistic reasons. Abu Hussein was shot Saturday while standing with seven or eight friends on Netanya's Sderot Nitza. Investigators recovered several bullet casings from a 0.22 mm handgun. Police said Abu Hussein's killer shot from 10 meters away. Abu Hussein's friends rushed him to Hadera's Hillel Yaffe Hospital, and he was later transferred to Petah Tikva's Beilinson Medical Center, where he died of his wounds. Witnesses provided conflicting information about the attack. Some of the youths standing with Abu Hussein said the shooter had been too far away to identify, while others said that the assailant was masked. Police were checking a report that a few minutes before the shooting, a police officer had questioned the youths and taken down their personal information. Another account said that seconds after the shooting, there was a brief power outage in the area. Investigators on Sunday ruled out the possibility that the group had been involved in a fight before the shooting. "We have a few leads in the investigation, and the facts indicate that it seems that the murder was criminally motivated. We don't currently have leads suggesting that the crime was racially motivated," said Sharon Subdistrict spokesman Insp. Oded Sharabi. Sharon police said Monday that Abu Hussein had been suspected of petty crimes, including thefts.