'Arabs are suspects in two-thirds of homicides'

Public Security Minister Aharonovitch announces plans to set up police units in Arab areas to combat high levels of violent crime.

Aharonovitch_311 reuters (photo credit: Ammar Awad / Reuters)
Aharonovitch_311 reuters
(photo credit: Ammar Awad / Reuters)
The Public Security Ministry is alarmed by the disproportionate levels of violent crime in the Arab community, and plans to set up special police units in Arab areas to combat the problem, Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch announced on Sunday.
Although the Arab community makes up 20 percent of the Israeli population, Arabs are involved in 67% of all homicides, 70% of attempted homicides and 52% of arsons, according to Public Security Ministry figures.

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Arabs are also involved in 38% of serious assaults and 36% of robberies, according to the ministry.
Aharonovitch will present a multi-year plan to the government this week that is aimed at improving personal safety levels in the Arab community. The ministry plans on setting up special police units in the Arab city of Nazareth and the town of Taibe, and will deploy an additional 200 officers for the new units.
Hundreds of other officers will be directed to other Arab areas, and community police units will be reinforced.
Aharonovitch recently toured Jaffa, Lod, Tira and Taibe to observe policing efforts there, and to learn about difficulties facing the Arab community. He plans on recruiting all government ministries to assist in lowering violence rates.