Four suspects were detained in connection to the murder of Ammar Muhammad Hujayrat. The 4-year-old Hujayrat was killed Thursday by an apparent stray bullet in the northern town of Bir al-Maksur in the Lower Galilee.
According to witness accounts, a conflict that erupted between several contractors at a nearby construction site devolved into a shootout. Hujayrat – who was playing in a nearby playground with his mother and friends – was fatally wounded after being hit in the neck by the stray gunfire. His death was pronounced at the hospital.
“A shocking incident”
Police and investigators who arrived at the scene detained six suspects for questioning, and two of them, young men aged 34 and 35, were arrested.
“This is a shocking incident, of a toddler who was hit by gunfire from criminals who resort to lethal force very easily, with no respect for human life. It is a terrible tragedy,” police said in a statement.
Magen David Adom medics Yafa Gadir and Ahmad Abu Alhiga reported from the scene: “There was a big commotion at the scene. The boy who suffered penetrating and bloody injuries to his body was lying unconscious in the playground with no pulse or breathing.”
“We immediately started medical treatment and together with the paramedics in the intensive care unit, we evacuated him to the hospital while performing resuscitation operations when his condition was critical.”
In a statement to the Hujayrat family and the town, Minister of Public Security, Omer Barlev said: “My heart is broken at the news of his murder. We will fight crime and the violence that mercilessly strikes the Arab streets and we will not rest until we catch the people responsible.”
According to data from the Beterem – Safe Kids Israel organization, eight children have been killed since 2016 as a result of stray gunfire when a weapon is involved. Of those killed, seven are from the Arab community. The data also shows that since 2016, some 105 children have been treated in emergency rooms as a result of injuries from weapons.
This article was translated from Hebrew by Zak Newbart.