Police announced on Friday they arrested two suspects a day earlier on suspicion of involvement in the fatal shooting of a teen last month in the town of Jaljulia.
Muhammad Abdelrazek Ades, 14, was killed and 12-year-old Mustafa Osama Hamed seriously wounded in the attack that sparked protests.
The two suspects, aged 27 and 29, also residents of Jaljulia, had their detention extended at the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court.
The court also approved the police’s request to issue a gag order on all details relating to the investigation.
The two boys who were gunned down in the town of Jaljulia in central Israel on March 9, were sitting only 100 meters from a police station at the time of the attack, according to reports.
The attack drew renewed outcry over violence in Israel’s Arab community as Ades became the 23rd Arab Israeli to die in violent circumstances this year, and the third under the age of 20. Since then that total number of deaths has risen to 28.
Law enforcement has been accused of neglecting violent crime in Arab communities, a charge highlighted by the shooting’s proximity to a police station.
According to the Kan public broadcaster, the two youths were sitting outside their homes when they were fired upon. The report said the family of at least one of the boys is apparently involved in a criminal underground dispute, but it remains unclear if the pair were the target.
Channel 12 reported that the boys were brought to the police station after the shooting by unknown individuals who then fled the scene. Passersby saw the bodies at the entrance to the police station and called emergency services, the report said.
The northern city of Umm al-Fahm has been holding weekly demonstrations against violence in the Arab community, with the rally following the attack drawing around 10,000 demonstrators. Turnout was higher than usual, likely also due to accusations of police brutality at the previous week’s demonstration that injured at least 35 and spurred an investigation by the Justice Ministry.
Organized crime is largely seen as the engine of the spread of violence in Arab cities and towns. Arab Israelis blame the police, who they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations.
In 2020, 96 Arab Israelis were killed, by far the highest annual toll in recent memory.
More than 90 percent of shootings in Israel last year took place in Arab communities, according to police. Arab Israelis account for around one-fifth of the country’s population.
According to the Abraham Initiatives nonprofit, 28 Arabs have been killed violently inside Israel since the beginning of 2021. Six were killed by police, while 22 were killed as a result of criminal activity.