Lod's Arab residents protest; blame police for murders

MK Barakei: Police "can't just decide which crime to fight and which to ignore, they must do their part to bring security to the city."

Lod Protest 311 (photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Lod Protest 311
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
In the wake of a series of murders in the past month that have left the residents of Lod on edge, hundreds of resident's of the city's Arab sector took part in a protest march Friday against what they said is a lack of vigilance on the part of police to bring the killers to justice and return a sense of security to local residents.
Protesters, some of whom marched under a banner reading "The police are the main culprits", were joined by leaders of the local Arab community as well as Israeli Arab MK Muhammad Barakei (Hadash), who said police "can't just decide which crime to fight and which to ignore, they must do their part to bring security to the city."
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Three residents have been murdered over the past month in Lod, including two women shot to death in front of their children. This past Tuesday, Abir Abu-Katifu, became the third murder in the city in the past month.
Police have considered the majority of the 11 murders committed so far this year in Lod to be so-called "honor killings", carried out by relatives of the victims because of some sort of perceived transgression.
Fatma Abu-Katifa, the sister of Abir Abu-Katifu, who became the third person murdered in Lod this past month, told reporters at the rally that her sister was not killed by an honor killing, dismissing the claim as a fabrication on the part of police.
"My sister was a good woman who worked hard and cared for four children, she didn't have time to get involved in anything else."
Abu-Katifa pointed an accusing finger at the police saying that "they close the cases right away, and just say it was an honor killing. If they were to actually solve these cases and crack down on the murderers, other people would think twice before killing people like this in the future."
Abu-Katifa added that following her sister's murder, police did not come to her house to question the family about the deceased.
Local resident Aida said the fear among women in Lod has become so strong because the threat against them is very real.
"We're risking our lives by talking like this today. Women are receiving death threats by phone, by SMS. We know that we'll hear about another woman getting killed in Lod tomorrow, or the next day."