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October 3, 2021 11:35 am

Bennett: ‘Violence in Arab Society Has Reached the Red Line’

avatar by i24 News

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem August 22, 2021. Gil Cohen-Magen/Pool via REUTERS

i24 News – Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that “violence in Arab society has reached the red line” during a meeting on Sunday in Jerusalem of the ministerial committee set up to counter crime in the country’s Arab communities.

The premier made the comments a day after four Arab security guards were arrested on suspicion of assaulting police officers in the Arab town of Kfar Qasim on Friday

“The government takes the issue very seriously. The Arab public must understand that the security forces are not the enemy, they are the solution. Not to blame the state, but to go hand in hand with it,” Bennett said.

The incident over the weekend took place amid a spike in violence in the Arab sector, with more than 90 homicide victims since the start of 2021. Most of the perpetrators are not brought to justice, with only 23% of the killings in the Arab Israeli community this year solved compared to 71% in the Jewish community.

According to a 2020 Knesset report, some 400,000 weapons are illegally circulating in Israel, the vast majority in Arab communities.

“I expect Arab society to cooperate fully in the war against crime and violence in Arab society,” Bennett emphasized, calling on Arab citizens of Israel to “stand behind the state.”

During May’s 11-day conflict between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, riots broke out in mixed Jewish-Arab towns across the country. The intercommunal violence killed and injured a number of people and damaged property, including arson and looting of synagogues and Jewish homes.

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