NGOs, MKs call for government action as violence spikes in Arab sector

People are afraid to leave their homes and feel hopeless about authorities improving the situation, according to the head of the Jatt regional council.

Arab leaders stand in front of a sign that reads "We want to live without violence and crime" (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Arab leaders stand in front of a sign that reads "We want to live without violence and crime"
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Following a suspected triple homicide in Baka al-Gharbiya Friday night, murders in the Arab sector reached a 20-year-high, according to MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint List) who posted on Twitter. Jabareen called for a protest saying that there is “no enforcement and no government plan” to handle the epidemic of violence.
Jabareen tweeted that a caravan will block Highway 6 on Sunday in protest.
Haaretz also reported that Arab sector murders have reached a 20-year record, citing Israel Police data.
Head of the Jatt regional council, which is adjacent to Baka al-Gharbiya, Khaled Gharra told Walla that people are afraid to leave their homes and feel hopeless about authorities improving the situation. “We have said it a hundred times, it is as if the police does not exist, or does not want to exist. The situation is very difficult and speaks for itself.”
Following Friday night’s incident, an emergency meeting was called Saturday that included representatives from the local regional councils, MKs and the leadership of relevant authorities, Walla News reported.
In response to the news of the deaths, the Abraham Initiatives has launched the Arab Lives Matter campaign to call on Israel’s government to immediately fund the governmental plan, initially announced in 2019, to end violence in the Arab sector.
“Five weeks ago the prime minister announced that he would advance the governmental plan and since that announcement, 16 Arab citizens have been murdered. While politicians are squabbling over the state budget, Arabs continue to pay the price with their lives,” said the organization.
The Abraham Initiatives is an organization that aims to grant Israeli Arab citizens equal social and political rights to those of Jewish citizens in Israel, according to the organization’s website.
On Saturday, activists from the Hadash and Maki political parties gathered at Kochav Yair junction in central Israel to protest the helplessness of the police in combating and eradicating crime in the Arab sector. The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel later announced that a convoy will leave Kafr Kara and will make its way to Jerusalem to “combat violence and crime.”
Tobias Siegal contributed to this report.