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Shooting in Lod pushes violent crime deaths in Arab community to 136 this year

Critically injured man taken to hospital, where he dies; another man succumbs to gunshot wounds sustained over weekend

A resident of the of Lod was shot dead early Monday morning, pushing the toll in the country’s Arab community to 136 deaths since the start of the year as a wave of crime-related slayings continues unabated.

The man, in his 30s, was shot on Hahalutz Street. He was identified in Hebrew media reports as Abed Hasunah. First responders took him in a critical condition to Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center, where doctors later declared him dead, the Israel Police said in a statement.

Earlier, Assad Mahmoud Agbariyah, a resident of Umm al-Fahm, died at the Emek Medical Center in Afula. He was shot on Saturday in the town of Ara in the north. Police said at the time that they believe the shooting was related to the criminal underworld.

A wave of violent crime has engulfed Israel in recent years, with shootings and bombings becoming almost regular occurrences in some neighborhoods.

The anti-violence Abraham Initiatives watchdog said that since the beginning of the year, 136 members of Arab community have been killed in violent and criminal circumstances. During the same period last year there were 66 deaths, it noted.

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Many community leaders blame the crime wave on the police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence. They also point to decades of neglect and discrimination by government offices as the root cause of the problem.

Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who campaigned on promises to beef up public safety and whose ministry oversees the police, has largely stayed quiet on the soaring crimewave, despite his ministry overseeing the police.