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February 10, 2016 12:55 pm

First Israeli Muslim Promoted to Police Deputy Commissioner — to Head New Arab-Sector Division

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Police Maj. Gen. Jamal Harkoush. Photo: Screenshot

Jamal Hakrush. Photo: Screenshot.

Israel Police Assistant Commissioner Jamal Hakrush is set to become the first Muslim Arab to rise to the rank of Deputy Commissioner, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Wednesday.

Hakrush will command a new division whose focus is the Arab-Israeli sector, which Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh revealed on Tuesday was riddled with disproportionately high levels of violent crime.

Hakrush, who told Israel’s Channel 2 last October that, despite the current wave of terrorism, coexistence “exists and will continue to exist,” joined the police force in 1978 and has filled a variety of roles since.

In 2004, he was brought in to head the Afula station and went on to command the Nahariya station during the rocket crisis of the Second Lebanon War in 2006, nrg reported. In 2007, he was promoted to commander, and headed the Zvulun station in Haifa. At the time, he was the first Muslim Arab in Israeli history to hold a rank that high.

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In 2010, he was appointed deputy commander of the Coastal District, covering Haifa in the north to Hadera in the center of the country. The married father-of-four was promoted again to become head of the Coastal District in 2013.

His new division dealing with crime in the Arab sector is under the auspices of the Public Security Ministry, which oversees the Israel Police. The division is meant to tackle issues of illegal firearms trading, rampant traffic accidents and violations, illegal construction, firing off live ammunition at weddings and other celebrations and more. The police chief on Monday said 59% of convicted murderers hail from the Arab sector.

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