(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Violence among youth in Israel has decreased, though the severity of the cases has worsened, it was reported during a discussion in the Knesset Committee on the Rights of the Child on Monday.
The committee convened to discuss the issue as part of National Violence Prevention week, which was initiated by the Public Security Ministry.
MK Orly Levy-Abecassis (Yisrael Beytenu), chairwoman of the committee, welcomed the decline in violence among youth and the initiatives of the ministry to combat the phenomenon.
However, she said the current system “does not see all as equals” and creates a gap between children from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
Levy-Abecassis called on the Education Ministry to examine how it can diagnose underprivileged children whose parents cannot afford assistance and allow them equal opportunities, in an attempt to prevent the “next violent incident.”
MK Mordechai Yogev (Bayit Yehudi) said the committee must follow up on violence-prevention programs treating the roots of the phenomenon. He called on the Education and Welfare ministries to provide answers and focus on imparting values to youth.
Cmdr. Itzik Almog, head of the Israel Police youth division, said registered cases of violence had stabilized but the severity of the cases had worsened. He added that the “Alcohol law,” which allows police to pour out alcohol and limits the age and hours of sale, has helped the police in their work.
Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, executive director of the National Council for the Child, called for checking the “background, depth and roots” of the problem and not just treat the external manifestations of violence.