In the wake of the recent political murders in the Arab Israeli sector, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other ministers convened a subcommittee dedicated to fighting the surging problem and announced that the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) would be joining the fight against criminal organizations in the Arab communities.
Netanyahu chaired the subcommittee meeting attended by Justice Minister Yariv Levin, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, Interior Minister Moshe Arbel, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, Economy Minister Nir Barkat, and Diaspora Minister Amichai Chikli.
After three hours of deliberations, it was announced that the Shin Bet will assist the Israel Police in investigating criminal organizations, but only in relation to local elections.
Netanyahu reportedly chastised the head of the Arab Authorities Committee, Moder Younes, at the meeting for the latter’s refused to admit that criminal organizations were behind the recent crimes.
Netanyahu said on Tuesday in response to the Monday evening killing of Tira city manager Abed al-Rahman Kashu that the Shin Bet would be employed against the Arab sector crimes.
Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Kashu’s killing crossed a red line.
“These murders, the criminal organizations, the protection rackets, taking over municipalities, this is something we cannot afford,” said Netanyahu.
Hundreds of Arab citizens marched on Wednesday in the funeral of Kashu, voicing anger at what they say is the Israeli government’s failure to curb a surge in criminal violence ripping through their communities.
The victims of Tuesday's shooting
Mourners waved black flags and wore black t-shirts with a photo of the 55-year-old father of five who they dubbed “the martyr of reform.”
In the other political murder this week in the Arab sector, four Druze men were shot dead late Tuesday night in Abu Snan, three of them members of the Saab family. Emergency services said that the men suffered serious wounds and they were forced to pronounce the men ages 30-50 dead at the scene.
Victim Ghazi Saab wrote on Facebook on August 2 saying that he was running for president of his local council and that he would work to better the country. Saab also denounced the rise of violent crime in the Arab sector on July 24, calling on people to solve problems through means other than violence.
“The crime and acts of violence in our villages have exceeded all limits and we can no longer remain silent about them,” Saab wrote. “Enough of the violence… we are very saddened by what is happening in our beloved country.”Israeli Druze spiritual leader Skeikh Mowafaq Tarif described the crime as a massacre and terrorism and demanded that the government take action.
“The state and the police turn a blind eye to the rampant criminal terrorism,” said Tariq. “The government must take ownership immediately and present an emergency plan to the public.”
Reports began to surface in the evening that the police suspected that the killing was over a land dispute.
The Hadash-Ta’al Party said that the government was responsible for every drop of blood spilled, saying it was deliberately dismantling the Arab community through inaction. The Arab party recalled that in the last eight months, over 150 people had been murdered in the Arab sector, a significant rise from the 106 slain in all of 2022.