Two parents, Gadoah and Amal Zabarka, were shot to death in their car as their six-year-old son sat in the back seat in Lod on Saturday night, December 15. Another man, Ali Abu Al-Rihan, was fatally shot in the same city hours later and a fourth victim to gunshot violence, Mahmoud Abu-Dayeh, was killed in a shooting in the town of Yafia, near Nazareth.
Gadoah and Amal Zabarka were found dead in their car, near Lahav 443 police station, while their son fled the scene and has still not been found. The couple was on the way to pick up their 15-year-old son to celebrate his birthday.
Two men were shot near the Lod police station on Saturday evening just two hours after the Zabarkas were found slain in their car. One, Ali Abu Al-Rihan, was pronounced dead while the other remains in critical condition at Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center. While the cause for this second shooting in Lod is still not clear, it is suspected that it was a revenge killing for the murder of the Zabarkas.
Hadash MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint List) said in response, “Our blood is being shed but the authorities do nothing. I blame the government for perpetuating a ‘divide and rule’ policy, which allows the internal violence [in the Arab community in Israel] to continue.” Jabareen went on: “As long as those shot and killed are Arabs, no other explanation makes sense when pondering why the police don’t confiscate illegal firearms.”
Steep Rise in Reports of Domestic Violence during Last Month
On Sunday, December 16, the Labor and Welfare Ministry reported a 150% spike in complaints of domestic violence since protests highlighting the issue were launched last month. A ministry hotline has received 272 complaints of violence this month, 70% of them from women, compared to 110 complaints in the first two weeks of November.