Aharonovitch vows to help Israeli-Arab community fight crime

Public security minister

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch paid a surprise visit to the Israeli-Arab town of Kafr Kassem on Friday, where he vowed to increase police efforts to fight crime in the Arab sector. During his tour, in which he was joined by Police Central District Commander Nissim Mor and Sharon District Commander Shimon Shomroni, Aharonovitch said he will examine the possibility of opening a police station in the center of the town, to increase police presence there. During his tour, Aharonovitch met with Mayor Nader Sarsur and City Council Head Tzalah Fridij, as well as an assortment of local residents. Aharonovitch told them he would instruct heads of Israel's anti-drug and alcohol abuse initiatives to launch educational programs in the Arab sector's schools. The minister also called on the leaders of the Arab sector to encourage youth to perform national service and to enlist in the police, saying the community must also volunteer for the sake of the greater good. "You must understand, you can't only demand things, you must also ask yourselves, 'Where are we in this picture?' Where is the volunteering for the civil guard, Magen David Adom, the police?" During comments on the recent murder of a local teen shot while riding a school bus, Aharonovitch said he views the shooting "as a terror attack in every regard" and said police "must find the right formula for removing weapons from Kafr Kassem." Four Jaljulia teens were arrested in early November in connection with the shooting, which apparently was carried out as payback for an altercation with teens from Kafr Kassem. Aharonovitch called the visit to Kafr Kassem "symbolic" and said he feels "the greatest thing about the rule of law and law enforcement, is that it doesn't differentiate between one sector and another, not between Jews and Arabs, and not between Druse, Circassians, or Christians."