Crime wave claims 176th victim in Israel's Palestinian town of Um el-Fahem, a 25-year-old woman

Crime wave claims 176th victim in Israel's Palestinian town of Um el-Fahem, a 25-year-old woman
A relentless crime wave pound Palestinian citizens of Israel. 25-year-old Alaa Aghabriya is the latest victim. The Israeli police seem unable, even unwilling, according to residents, to tackle the issue.
2 min read
19 September, 2023
Violent crime claimed its 176th victim in the city of Um el Fahem after 25-year-old Alaa Aghabriya died of gun shot wound sustained last week. [Getty]

A twenty-five-year-old woman from Um el Fahem died of a gunshot wound on Monday, 19 September, marking the 176th victim of crime-related violence in Palestinian towns within Israel's 1948 boundaries so far this year. 

Alaa Aghabriya was shot at a road intersection last Thursday in what police believe to be crime-related activities between feuding families. 

The victim's father was killed a few months ago, while her mother is reportedly recovering in a hospital from a gunshot wound sustained a week earlier. 

Spiralling crime has stunned Palestinian citizens of Israel in the past several years, with 2023 standing out as the deadliest year yet.

According to a count by Arab 48 news outlet, twelve people have been killed thus far in September, while 26 were killed in August. 

Blame on the rising violence in Arab communities has been put on the Israeli police and government, which, according to residents, have shown little resolve to crack down on organised crime. 

Live Story

In an ominous sign, unknown assailants fired shots at a vehicle belonging to a candidate running for the seat of the local council head in the town of Jededet al-Makker last night. 

"I call on the police to immediately and seriously work to apprehend this crime", Afif Abdel Haj said to Arabic media following the incident. 

"This incident shows that more than 70% of our people in the village do not feel safe, and that is a worrying and dangerous indicator", he added. 

The violence has had psychological and social effects on Arab society. 

Chief among them is the loss of personal security, which affects their daily lives. Further, their trust in the state and its institutions has, to a large extent, diminished.

Recently, Muhammad Barakeh, a former Knesset member and leader of the Arab follow-up committee in Israel, said that "the intelligence services shield criminal gangs". 

The Israeli cabinet is mulling bringing the Shin Bet security service to aid the police in combatting criminal gangs, but the Arab residents are sceptical. The Shin Bet deals with security matters.