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Two killed in northern town, raising homicide toll in Arab community to 165

Two men were shot and killed Thursday in the northern town of Kafr Qara, the latest multi-victim homicide to hit Israel’s Arab community during a record spate of killings.

The pair were shot while in a car, which rolled off the side of the road. Paramedics from the Magen David Adom Ambulance service declared them dead at the scene.

The two were identified as Omar Sa’id, a 33-year-old from Qalansawe, and Fuad Nasser Aliya, a Kafr Qara resident in his 20s.

Police said officers were dispatched to gather evidence and that an investigation had been opened.

There was no immediate word on a possible motive.

According to the Abraham Initiatives, an anti-violence advocacy group, the pair’s deaths brought the number of Arabs violently killed this year to 165, an all-time high and more than double the figure at the same last year. Most of the victims were killed in shootings.

The killings in Kafr Qara follow several other recent shootings that claimed multiple lives, including a quadruple homicide last month in Abu Snan, and came after two people were shot dead in separate incidents Thursday.

Most of the killings are part of a violent crime wave that has engulfed the Arab community in recent years. 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.

Many community leaders blame the police, whom 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.

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