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Man shot dead in Ramle, in 170th homicide this year in Arab community

A man was killed and two seriously injured in a shooting in the central city of Ramle on Wednesday, as a wave of crime in the Arab community showed no signs of abating.

Paramedics arrived at the scene to find a 20-year-old man in critical condition and began efforts to resuscitate him, according to a Magen David Adom ambulance service statement.

Beside him were a 40-year-old and a 25-year-old with serious wounds.

The three were taken to Shamir Medical Center in Be’er Ya’akov, where the 20-year-old was declared dead.

Police have opened an investigation into the case.

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It was the second homicide within hours, after two Arab men were found shot dead in an olive grove in the northern town of Abu Snan earlier Wednesday.

Ambulances in an olive grove in Abu Snan on September 6, 2023. (Magen David Adom)

The incidents brought the toll of slayings in the Arab community this year to 170, according to the Abraham Initiatives anti-violence advocacy group, with the record-breaking pace of murders showing little sign of slowing. There were 75 murders over the same period last year.

The killings are part of a violent crime wave that has engulfed the Arab community in recent years. Many community leaders blame 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.

Authorities have blamed burgeoning organized crime and the proliferation of weaponry, while some have pointed to a failure by communities to cooperate with law enforcement to root out criminals.

On Tuesday, the Arab community went on strike as municipal leaders called for the establishment of an emergency committee to fight the relentless crime wave.

The National Committee of Heads of Arab Local Authorities and the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee blamed the Israeli government for the spate of killings in the Arab community and accused it of neglecting Arab Israeli citizens.

The strike saw local authorities, community centers, and businesses shut their doors, and the school day shortened.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.