Twenty one members of the same extended Bedouin family arrived at the Soroka Medical Center with gunshot wounds following a feud between two branches of the family, who live in the southern community of Rahat.
One person was severely wounded and 10 were moderately wounded. All the rest were lightly wounded. One young girl from the family was also hospitalized for shock.
Rahat residents near local clinic (Photo: Ilana Curiel)
Saturday's violent clash was provoked by a dispute between children that started three days ago.
Large police forces and medical teams were dispatched to the scene of the incident, and the Magen David Adom ambulance service declared the feud a multi-casualty incident, ordering its teams to wear helmets and protective vests before entering the war zone.
Eyewitnesses reported shootings and stone throwing that gradually subsided following the arrival of forces at the community.
"It was a serious incident, a true massacre," said Dr. Wasfi Abu Abed from Rahat.
Magen David Adom's southern director, Yehuda Shoshan, told Ynet that medical teams in the region will maintain the highest alert level for the time being.
"We activated the multi-casualty incident procedure and dozens of ambulances and police cruisers were rushed to the scene," he said. "When we arrived at the scene, the shooting was still going on. Magen David Adom forces waited around wearing vests and helmets, and once we received police permission, we entered the scene and started looking for the injured."
Rahat Police Commander Eyal Azoulay told Ynet that the situation was brought under control.
"The incident started three days ago with a dispute between children," he said. "Last night a brawl broke out and we detained several suspects, yet the brawl resumed this morning, and shots were fired at police officers."