Ayman Odeh: 'Crime epidemic' in Arab society must be tackled

Arab-Israeli society is struggling to deal with the wave of violence. MK Ayman Odeh: "The crime epidemic continues, this is the first thing we will deal with."

Joint List MK Ayman Odeh (photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Joint List MK Ayman Odeh
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Joint List party leader Ayman Odeh wrote on Twitter on Saturday that the "crime epidemic in Arab society" must be stopped after Ibrahim a-Sa'di and Bian Bashkar-Dalya were murdered during a wedding in the Bedouin town of Basmat Tab'un in northern Israel on Saturday morning.
These murders came shortly after the killing of Adib Dirawi, who was shot dead in the village of Yasif, and Iyad Hamza Badir, an Imam, who was murdered in his car in a Muslim town.
Odeh wrote on his Twitter account, “The elections are over but the crime epidemic in Arab society continues. Four are murdered a day. This is the first issue we will address. We have no choice but to bring security back to the streets and live in a firearms-free society.”
The head of the Basmat Tab’un Council Raad Zabidat strongly condemned the double murder locally, and called for an emergency conference to discuss the murder and bring about calm.
Zabidat said in a statement, “I strongly condemn the murder that resulted in the deaths of two dear and honorable people, making the wedding ceremony mournful. We call for an emergency conference at 13:00 in the Zabidat community center, attended by Arab MKs, heads of councils and representatives of the National Salah Committee, as well as participants, administrators and supervisors in the schools. The goal is to discuss the murder case, bring calm and offer practical solutions.”
According to eyewitnesses, a young man broke into the wedding ceremony in the settlement, located near Haifa, and fired at the celebrants.
Two young people died from the shooting, with two others injured, one of them seriously injured and the other lightly injured. The shooting likely stemmed from a previous brawl.
59 Arab-Israelis have been murdered since the beginning of this year.
In the last few days, four Arab-Israelis have died due to acts of violence. At the beginning of the year, 59 Arab-Israelis were murdered, including 10 women. In 2018, 76 Arab-Israelis were murdered, including 14 women.
Bashkar-Dallaika, 22, died at her relative's wedding and was injured at the start of the incident when she searched for her young daughter immediately after hearing the first shots fired by the attacker.
Last August, State Comptroller Matanyahu Engelman noted that security forces, the police and the Shin Bet failed to gather illegal weapons in Arab society, which, he said, led to an increase in the number of homicides among the population. According to the comptroller, 1,236 Arab men and women were murdered in the period 2000-2017. In 2016, 30 Arab-Israeli women were murdered, which was 42% of the total number of women murdered in Israel that year. 
It should be noted that the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, and the heads of the Arab authorities and Knesset members, recently organized protest demonstrations to put pressure on police to fight organized crime in Arab society, among other things. The protest rally took place in front of the Jaffa police station.