Tension between police, Lod’s Arab community magnified by murder

According to data released last week by the Central Bureau of Statistics, 69% of Arab-Israelis surveyed have a negative view of the police.

By
September 27, 2016 01:21
2 minute read.
Clashes in Rahat

Police detain an Arab youth during clashes in the southern town of Rahat on January 20.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Police and many in the Arab community of Lod are at odds over the handling of the murder of Dua’a Abu Sharkh, 32, who was shot at close range by masked gunmen in front of her four children on Friday.

“Police do not care about the Arab community,” said one Arab resident of Lod, who declined to state her name.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“If a Jewish mother was murdered, the whole city would be closed. Instead, the police blame it on the family. It is a shame that the police arrested her three brothers, bringing the family more pain.”

On Sunday, after protests from the Abu Sharkh family and numerous Arab residents blocked roads, the three brothers, who are suspects in the murder, were allowed to attend their sister’s funeral.

They made for an unusual site, appearing at the funeral while handcuffed to police officers.

It highlighted the tense state of police relations with the Arab community in Lod.

Nasser, a construction worker in the low-income city who declined to state his last name, said he feels that the police eye all Arabs with suspicion.



“I don’t feel like they are here to protect me, only to protect the Jewish residents,” he said.

Yitzhak, a religious Jew who works at a jewelry store, chastised what he said was a characterization of Lod as dangerous and violent by the media.

“For the most part things are OK, despite a minority of violent people; most people want to live a regular life,” he said.

“I’ve had no problems with violence here – most of it is within the Arab community, so it does not affect me.”

Despite violence in the headlines and the strained atmosphere surrounding the Lod District Court on Monday, the rest of the city maintained an air of normality.

Arab and Jewish employees of a metalworking shop refused to talk about politics. “We don’t have time for that,” they said, and returned to cutting metal sheets. Lod, which has a population of 72,000, has a Jewish majority, but also boasts a substantial Arab population, numbering between 20% and 30%.

A mall adjacent to the Lod District Court was flooded with Jewish and Arab women shoppers.

Shaymaa, a sister of the slain mother, told Walla that police are not doing enough to solve the deaths of women. “100 women were murdered in family ‘honor killings’ in Lod, and to this day [the police] have not found [the] murderers,” she said. “The police need to find the killer [still] on the loose instead of arresting my brothers; instead of grieving and weeping for their sister who was killed, they were taken into custody in handcuffs.”

According to data released last week by the Central Bureau of Statistics, 69% of Arab-Israelis surveyed have a negative view of the police. In the most recent police statistics from 2015, 59% of murders occurred in Arab communities, despite the fact that the Arab minority makes up only 21% of the country’s population.

Related Content

Western Wall
July 19, 2018
Analysis: Putting the Western Wall on the itinerary for world leaders

By HERB KEINON