A woman in her 30s and her 14-year-old daughter were shot dead in the central Israeli city of Lod on Monday. The girl's twin sister was moderately wounded.
The mother, Manar Abu Hajaj and her twin daughters were evacuated to Assaf Harofeh Hospital where both Manar and her daughter were pronounced dead.
The second daughter, who is in moderate condition, said that the gun aimed at her failed to fire. She ran out of the parking area as the killers chased after her, but she managed to escape.
A neighbor who witnessed the events said she was shot in the leg while escaping.
The police said they are looking for the shooters and that the background and circumstances of the incident are under investigation. Eyewitnesses who were present at the scene told Haaretz that the victims were shot while they were in the car.
The victims are the wife and daughters of Issam Hajaj, a known criminal from Lod. According to police sources and other sources in Lod, Issam Hajaj is the former partner of Samar Khatib, who was murdered in 2018.
His relatives were convicted of aiding and abetting the murder after Khatib broke up with Hajaj in 2017. Hajaj reportedly left Israel before her murder due to financial disputes he had. Police estimate that he left to a country with which Israel has no extradition agreement.
In 2013, police suspected that Hajaj was involved in the murder of two people, but and indictment was never filed against him.
“They hurt them to hurt him,” two people familiar with the family told Haaretz. The police released a statement saying that the victims "are not known to be involved in any disputes, nor is there any information or complaint of violence within the victims' family." They added that they will increase police presence in the city following the murders.
- Suspect in murder of 27-year-old woman confesses to killing
- 84% of crime victims in Israel are Arab, but Prosecutor only provides updates in Hebrew
- Israeli convicted of murdering three Palestinian family members in 2015 loses his appeal
According to Haaretz, 72 people have been murdered in the Arab community in Israel since the beginning of the year, including eight women. In the corresponding period last year, the number of Arabs murdered was 80, and 126 in 2021 as a whole.