Camels roam in an unrecognized Beduin village, as the southern Israeli city of Beersheba is seen in the background December 17, 2015..
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
In response to recent reports of increased crime in the Negev’s Beduin communities, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Tuesday ordered the Israel Police to open a new police station in the South.
It will become the first station to be opened in the area in 15 years.
This decision was made in an emergency meeting Erdan convened in Beersheba “to combat the phenomenon the use of illegal weapons and violent driving in the roads of the Negev.”
Some recent crimes were recorded on videos and drew the attention of the media.
In one video, young Beduin are seen recklessly driving, some with their upper bodies out of the vehicle, as they shoot guns toward the sky.
At the Beersheba meeting it was also decided to bolster the entire Border Police Southern District in order to strengthen law enforcement in the Beduin sector, and to place road cameras throughout the region, so “police forces could respond more efficiently and as quickly as possible to crimes in the area,” according to a statement.
Erdan said after the meeting that he expects the police to use every means to strengthen increase the sense of security for residents in the area.
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“In recent years I acted to give the police the means to fight crime in the Arab and the Beduin sector,” he said. “We should do everything possible to enforce the law in Beduin areas and act against the illegal weapons phenomenon and risky driving.”
Erdan said he will submit a bill to the cabinet that will allow up to five years in prison as punishment for illegally discharging firearms.
“It is a dramatic change that reflects how severe this offense is,” he said.
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