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Middle East matters – Organised crime on the rise in Israel

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In Israel, the number of gang-related murders is soaring in the Israeli Arab community. A record 128 Israeli Arabs were killed in gang-related violence within their own community last year, including women and children caught in the crossfire. The victims’ families accuse the police of inaction, while the government has promised to do more. Our correspondents Gwendoline Debono and Irris Makler report from Qalansuwa, a town in the country’s centre, where criminals have formed a state within a state.

But first, residents of Yemen’s capital Saana are bracing themselves for more air strikes amid a new escalation in the country’s seven-year civil war. Last week, Saudi-led warplanes killed at least 90 people at a detention centre in the rebel-held Saada province. This followed deadly drone and missile attacks by the Iran-backed Houthis on the United Arab Emirates, a member of the coalition. 

Finally, Syrian Kurdish forces say they forced at least 300 Islamic State group fighters to surrender this week after the militants orchestrated a prison break last Thursday. The group’s attempt to free its members from the facility in northeastern Syria led to more than 200 deaths. FRANCE 24’s jihadist movements expert Wassim Nasr tells us more.

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