Israeli north hit with 3 suspected murders in less than 24 hours - report

All three incidents involved deadly shootings with possible links to organized crime, marking a recent hike in murder cases in the Arab population.

 Police cruisers and an ambulance at the scene. (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Police cruisers and an ambulance at the scene.

The third case of suspected murder in northern Arab communities occurred on Friday night in less than 24 hours, despite police efforts to combat crime in Arab-Israeli communities during the last year.

A 56-year-old man, a resident of Maalot-Tarshiha, was shot dead on Friday night in the Galilee town of Rama. MDA medics and paramedics who were called to the scene performed resuscitation operations but were eventually forced to determine his death. This marks the third separate death by shooting in the last 24 hours.

"The wounded man was unconscious and suffered a serious penetrating injury to his body. We performed medical procedures but he showed no signs of life; we had no choice but to determine his death," according to MDA paramedic Eddie Zogot, who was present at the scene.

Police forces called to the scene opened an investigation. According to current suspicions, the background to the incident is likely a conflict between criminals.

Arara suspected murder

Earlier on Friday, a 30-year-old man, a resident of Arara identified as Rajab Abu Hamad, was shot in Lod.

MDA medics and paramedics who were called to the scene provided him with medical treatment and evacuated him in critical condition to Shamir-Assaf Harophe Hospital. He was brought in unconscious and suffering from several penetrating injuries, and doctors had eventually to determine his death.

Police began investigating the incident and looking for two suspects, residents of the city in their 20s and 30s, who were caught during a chase after trying to cross the Hasmonean checkpoint into Judea and Samaria.

The two were arrested and questioned. Based on the information currently available to the police, they will be brought to court on Saturday for a request to extend their arrest.

Zarzir suspected murder

On Friday evening, Fathi Shahin, a 32-year-old resident of Tamra, in Zarzir, was shot dead. The background to the incident is also most likely a conflict between criminals. Bccording to police reports, the victim himself was also known to the police before the incident.

A preliminary investigation of the incident indicated that he was shot while in an apartment in the village along with four other people. At one point, a masked gunman entered the residence, shot him from point-blank range, and fled, according to N12.

As part of an ongoing police investigation, a suspect was arrested and his arrest was extended by five days. During the hearing to extend his detention, the suspect denied any connection to the incident, according to the police.

According to his lawyers, Tomer Naveh and Vance Dirawi, the suspect and the victim were good friends and he was at his house, and that if he had been released, he would have been at the funeral.