The spate of gun violence in the Arab sector continued Saturday with the death of 30-year-old Johar Abu-Jaber in the central village of Kafr Qasim - the fifth member of same family to be killed by gunfire in a year.
The recent spike in killings within Arab towns has exposed the longstanding mistrust between the marginalized community and Israeli authorities, with each side accusing the other of neglecting the problem. Since the start of the year, more than 80 people have been murdered in violent attacks in the Arab community.
A team of paramedics pronounced Abu-Jaber dead at the scene. Police launched an investigation into the incident and are searching for the shooter who fled the scene.
According to police officials, the shooting is part of a blood feud between the Abu-Jaber family and another in the village.
Last September, 26-year-old Ribal Abu-Jaber was shot at the entrance to the village. Two weeks earlier, Jihad Abu-Jaber, also 26, was shot outside of his house by unknown assailants.
Johar was shot on his way to his job at a local bakery, where he worked as a delivery man. Police were called several weeks earlier to his neighborhood, when an homemade bomb was found to have been placed in his car.
In December 2018, Johar's 25-year-old cousin, Rami Abu-Jaber, was killed in an explosion while driving his truck on Route 5, near Tel Aviv.
Last July, his uncle, 62-year-old Ahmad Salem Abu-Jaber, was shot at point blank range outside the factory at which he worked.
Responding to the violence, Joint List party leader Ayman Odeh slammed government inaction on tackling the problem.
"After our protests to create a thorough plan to mitigate the violence in our communities, it is again postponed because of the oncoming elections," he said.
"This reality is created by a government that insists on defending an indicted criminal rather than the citizens plagued by violence precipitated by criminal organizations," Odeh said, referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Many Arab citizens see a wide gulf between how Israel responds to threats against the state or its Jewish citizens, and its handling of violence within their communities.
They Israel’s vaunted security forces are suspiciously powerless when it comes to combating the violence while police say local leaders and residents must do more to help them impose law and order.
First published: 22:08 , 12.15.19