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May 8, 2023 8:49 am

Arab-Israeli Mother Murdered Outside Her Home in Haifa

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avatar by i24 News

UNESCO Square for Tolerance and Peace in Haifa. Photo: Google Street View.

i24 News – A young woman, 24, was found murdered inside her car parked near her home in Haifa, Israel. The victim, Hanan Abu-Hit, was the mother of a five year-old boy. The shooting happened over night, between Sunday and Monday.

Paramedics from Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency services were first to arrive and pronounced her dead at the scene. Police opened an investigation to find the suspects, stating that Abu-Hit was shot point blank by three masked men.

The running suspicion is that the murder is part of a feud between the Hariri and Bakri crime families, which has claimed more than 20 victims so far, including Abu-Hit. She had no criminal background, but an initial assessment reported that her relative was involved in the conflict.

Her relative, Mehran Abu-Hit, was murdered in December 2022. He was shot to death at his workplace in Haifa, a day after a double murder in Nazareth in which a father and his toddler son were shot to death. The murders were reportedly part of the feud between the Bakri and Hariri families.

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Israeli President Isaac Herzog released a press statement, starting with “this is an emergency.”  He continued to call the wave of violence a “strategic challenge for the State of Israel, no less!” And went so far as to call out the crimes as “civil terrorism.”

“We must all unite against it and immediately,” Herzog called, “to urgently hold emergency discussions, sit down together, make decisive and firm decisions,” and concluded, “it is our souls.”

According to The Abraham Initiatives nonprofit organization, 73 Arab-Israelis have died as a result of crime and violence so far in 2023. During the same period last year, there were 28 comparable deaths. The stark rise in numbers have drawn a sharp rebuke from community leaders.

“There is quite simply, a situation of lawlessness,” Mohammad Barakeh, head of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, told Kan public broadcaster.  “No one can convince anyone that the police are not able to fight crime and gather the weapons.”

He charged that police are aware of who the criminals are, but nonetheless, do not act against them: “The country has abandoned the Arab public.”

Arab communities in Israel experienced a surge in violence over the past few years, from 89 murders in 2019, to 96 in 2020, and 126 in 2021. Last year had a slight decrease with 111. According to a 2020 parliamentary report, some 400,000 weapons are illegally circulating in the country, the vast majority in Arab communities.

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