Separate gangland shootings occurred on Thursday afternoon in two suburbs of Nazareth, including Cana, where Jesus turned water to wine.
In the first, a father and his three-year-old daughter were shot and seriously wounded.
In the second, heavy gunfire and a suicide drone were used against a group of people, killing five and critically wounding another.
The shootings mark a sharp rise in a worrying wave of violence within Israel’s Arab community, which has claimed 98 lives so far this year.
Some Hebrew media reported that police believed the shooting was due to ongoing conflict between two local clans. This conflict has claimed more than 25 lives in the past two years. The media cites analysts who attribute these killings to underworld violence fueled by these and other powerful gangs engaged in extortion, usury, racketeering and other criminal activities.
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir visited the scene of the shooting in Yafa an-Naseriyye on Thursday. Meanwhile, opposition politicians have sharply criticized his handling of violent crime in the Arab community, which he promised to solve before the last election.
Speaking to reporters, Ben-Gvir said he “shares the grief” of the bereaved and wished those injured, including the man and child in Kafr Cana, a speedy recovery.
“In recent years, the Arab community has been like the Wild West,” said Ben-Gvir, adding that he and his staff are “working hard” to address the “fundamental problems,” but there are obstacles.
Among other things, Ben-Gvir suggested using the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence service, against the Arab mafias. The Shin Bet, also known as the Israel Security Agency (ISA), actually only operates against terrorists. Intelligence officers have already voiced their objections to the plan.
A committee to resolve the violence in the Arab sector is being established and will report directly to the prime minister.
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