Thousands march in Majd al-Krum to protest violence in Arab communities

Arab MKs chose to join the demonstration instead of attending the 22nd Knesset's inauguration ceremony.

By ALON HOCHMON/MAARIV, YASSER OKBI/MAARIV
October 3, 2019 21:09
1 minute read.
Thousands march in Majd al-Krum to protest violence in Arab communities

Protests in Majd al-Krum. (photo credit: JOINT ARAB LIST)

More than 30,000 demonstrators marched in Majd el-Kurum on Thursday to protest violence in Arab communities and demand action from Israeli authorities.

Government offices and schools in the Arab sector were closed Thursday as part of a national strike called for by the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee. The Joint List’s 13 MKs participated in the strike by boycotting the 22nd Knesset’s inauguration ceremony.

In 2019, 68 Arab-Israelis have been murdered, including 11 in September alone.

Thousands attended the funeral Wednesday evening of two brothers killed in a brawl a day earlier in Majd el-Kurum. After the funeral, hundreds demonstrated outside the town’s police station, calling on the authorities to act.

“There’s a conspiracy between the police and the criminal organizations,” the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee said. “The authorities know very well where the weapons are coming from into the Arab towns. The committee believes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan are personally responsible for the increasing crime rate.”

Police representatives reject the claims, and say that the police put great effort in the fighting criminal activities and are taking many steps to handle violence in the Arab sector.

“The complex operation to catch illegal weapons keeps going all the time with no break,” Erdan tweeted on Thursday. “Remember that when you hear statements that are not connected to reality and truth, that the police do not act to ‘gather’ weapons. Thousands of illegal weapons are caught because of a huge investment of resources and a lot of manpower that operates under a big risk and with dedication.”

Erdan held an emergency meeting with acting police commissioner Motti Cohen and several police commanders to evaluate Cohen’s plan to address the violence, which includes opening new police stations, increasing the number of officers present in Arab communities and facilitating further cooperation between local leadership and police. The plan, first reported by Maariv, also includes establishing a dedicated administration led by Deputy Commissioner Jamal Hakroush to address violence and public safety in Arab cities and towns. 


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