19-year-old Shot Dead in Arab Town in Northern Israel

Since the beginning of the year, 74 people have been murdered in Israel's Arab community

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Zayn awad
Zayn awad

A young man was shot dead Friday night, one day ahead of his 20th birthday, in a suspected feud between families in the northern Israel village of Mazra'a, in the latest violent killing in the Arab community.

19-year-old Zayn Awwad was reportedly sitting outside a grocery store in the village when a vehicle containing several armed men started firing.

Awwad was taken to the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya in critical condition, and was pronounced dead a short time later.

Israeli police said that they have opened an investigation into the incident, and that they suspect that the shooting was part of a conflict between feuding families in the area.

Awwad is the second murder victim from Mazra'a in 2022 — a town of 4,200 inhabitants.

"From the 1970s until February 2022, there were no murders in Mazra'a," said head of the local council Fuad Awwad. "This is a black year for the town. We are powerless, we feel that this is a state within a state. Security is at an all-time low and children are afraid to go to the grocery store," he said.

On Friday, two other young men were wounded by gunfire in two different incidents – one was brought in a critical condition to the clinic in Baka al-Gharbiyeh, while the other was shot at the beach in Jisr al-Zarqa.

On Thursday, a 20-year-old man was shot when he peeked out of a friend's house in the northern town of Daburiyya. Yousef Yousef, who did not have a criminal record, succumbed to his wounds the following day.

According to Haaretz's statistics, 74 Arabs have been killed this year in crime-related incidents in Israel, including eight women. In comparison, the death toll for the same time last year stood at 82, and reached 126 by the end of 2021.

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