Suspected honor killing rocks central Israel town

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 |  Ryan Jones

Police believe that Tuesday’s murder of a mother of four in the central Israel town of Lod can be attributed to an honor killing after arresting and questioning several of the woman’s male relatives.

Abir Abu-Katifu was gunned down in front of her home as she entered her vehicle Tuesday night. The next morning, police arrested her husband, brother-in-law, an unidentified male relative and two local brothers believed to be the hired assassins.

The two brothers are also believed to be the hired gun in two more murders that happened in Lod this month.

In one killing, a 27-year-old mother was shot dead in front of two of her children. In the other, a 48-year-old man was shot at point-blank range while sitting in his car with his daughter.

All of the victims were Arab, as are the two brothers believed to have been the assassins in all three cases.

Lod is a mixed Jewish-Arab town that has been saturated with domestic violence, gang activity and drug use for decades. But the recent string of killings marked a significant escalation, and Israel’s Internal Security Ministry has decided to deploy a large number of Border Police officers there in an effort to keep the peace.

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