Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated at the conclusion of the discussions at the Ministerial Committee for Arab Society Affairs on Tuesday that the government wants to "narrow the gaps and achieve full integration of the Arab society in Israel.
"We discussed topics such as credit, education, Hebrew [language], welfare, legislation, and many other issues.
"We also have a special focus on combating crime in Arab society, which is endangering the lives of Arab citizens of Israel. It is a national problem. Therefore, we have established a subcommittee, and many issues under its jurisdiction have already begun to be addressed, and we intend to delve into them in the coming days.
"There is a determination here by the government ministries and ministers to reduce these gaps for the benefit of Arab citizens of Israel. They deserve it, and it is our duty to address all these issues."
The subcommittee was authorized, among other things, to decide on the assistance of the Shin Bet security agency to the police in dealing with crime in Arab society.
The substantial increase in Arab-sector violence
Rising violence in Israel's Arab sector has become a significant challenge for the current coalition government, with a death toll that has nearly tripled compared to the same period last year. It took until November 2022 to reach 100 murders in the Arab sector, but only until June this year to reach that mark.
The situation has led Netanyahu to refer to the surge in violence as a "national calamity" primarily caused by "criminal organizations that are embittering the lives of Arab citizens of Israel," as previously reported by The Jerusalem Post.
Netanyahu proposed utilizing the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) to intervene and curb potential outbreaks of violence last month. The proposal was met with concern and dismay over potential human rights violations, however the newly established subcommittee may now choose to go ahead with the plan.