Four-Year-Old Arab Boy Killed in Stray Shooting

YERUSHALAYIM -
A police car is parked at the playground where a 4-year-old boy was killed by stray gunfire in Bir al-Maksur, northern Israel, Thursday. (Flash90)

Violent crime in the Arab Israeli sector claimed another life on Thursday, this time that of a 4-year-old boy who was killed by a stray bullet in a Bedouin town in the Lower Galil, according to media reports.

The shooting reportedly took place at a construction site about 300 yards from the playground where the boy had been in the town of Bir al-Maksur. MDA paramedics called to the scene evacuated him to Rambam Hospital in Haifa, where he was pronounced dead.

Two suspects, aged 34 and 35, were among six people detained in connection with the killing of Ammar Muhammad Hujayrat. The other four were described by police as suspects but later released.

“This is a shocking incident of a toddler hit by gunfire from criminals using firearms with such ease, without any respect for human life, causing such a terrible tragedy,” police said in a statement hours after the killing.

In 2021, 125 Arabs killed in Israel in rampaging violence, of whom 62 were below the age of 30, according to the Abraham Initiatives, which monitors and campaigns against violence in the Arab community.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Public Security Minister Omer Barlev have pledged to crack down on the violence as well as the trafficking in illegal weapons, and a special police unit has been created for the purpose, but it’s not clear if any headway has yet been made.