Man killed in car bombing in Lod, taking Arab community death toll this year to 133
A car exploded in the central city of Lod on Wednesday afternoon, killing a resident of the city.
According to police, they received a report of a loud blast from a car right near the boundary between the cities of Lod and Ramle shortly after 1 p.m. Images from the scene showed black smoke billowing through the air.
Police said that first responders found the driver, a 29-year-old resident of Lod in critical condition, and brought him to Assaf Harofeh Medical Center.
The man was later declared dead at the hospital.
A large number of police officers arrived at the scene to investigate the circumstances of the incident, police added. Police later said that the investigation would be handled by the region’s dedicated unit for organized crime.
Hebrew media reports indicated that the explosion was part of an ongoing dispute between underworld criminals, as is generally the case in car bombings.
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A wave of violent crime has engulfed Israel in recent months, with shootings and bombings becoming almost regular occurrences in some neighborhoods. A man was killed in a car bombing in Lod in February, and another wounded seriously in a car bomb in Rishon Lezion in April.
Following Wednesday’s explosion, the anti-violence Abraham Initiatives watchdog said that since the beginning of the year, 133 members of Arab community have been killed in violent and criminal circumstances. During the same period last year there were 64 deaths, it noted.
Earlier Wednesday, a 34-year-old man from the northern city of Tamra was fatally shot. On Monday a man was shot dead in Abu Snan, an Arab village near the northern town of Kafr Yasif, and on Tuesday, a man who was shot in the northern Arab town of Kafr Kanna on Saturday died of his injuries.
Many community leaders blame the crime wave on the police, who 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.