PM urges Israeli-Arabs to integrate further into society

March 20, 2012 18:37

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu urged Israel's Israeli-Arab population on Tuesday to integrate further into Israeli society, and to resist a life of crime.

Speaking at a summit centered around Israel's minority population in Haifa, Netanyahu said he believes "in the future of all Israeli citizens," noting the positive trend of integration within a number of fields.

Netanyahu warned of what he called "a negative phenomenon" of crime in the Israel's Arab sector.

According to figures released by the Public Security Ministry in January, while Arabs make up around 20% of the population, they are the suspects in 67% of homicides, 70% of attempted homicides and 52% of arson attacks. They are also the victims of the overwhelming majority of homicides committed in the country.

The prime minister has said that he wants to implement a two-pronged approach to battling crime in the Arab sector: integrating minority groups into the work force, and increasing the police presence in Arab towns and cities.

Ben Hartman contributed to this report

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