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December 6, 2022 9:17 am
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Murders, Violence Continue to Plague Arab-Israeli Community

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avatar by i24 News

The northern Israeli town of Nazareth. Photo: public domain.

i24 NewsOne murder every three days. That’s the statistic among Arab-Israelis – 105 Arab-Israelis murdered between January and the end of last month.

These numbers deflate the claim that murders and violence are decreasing in the Arab-Israeli community. The latest episode of violence took place early Tuesday morning, a stabbing and shooting attack on Highway 6, which bisects Israel from north to south.

Two passengers traveling in a sports car were taken to hospital following what was described as an attempted assassination. Like nearly all the violence in the Arab-Israeli community, the motive was criminal.

The body meant to combat this violence is the Israeli police. But they are hampered by the great mistrust which exists in their relations with Israel’s Arab citizens. As evidence by an incident just hours before the shooting on Highway 6, when a large crowd confronted police officers who came to arrest illegal workers in a local restaurant in the Arab-Israeli town of Baka el Rarbiye. The mere presence of the forces in the area was enough to trigger clashes.

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There were hopes that the presence of an Arab party in Israel’s outgoing coalition would help build trust with Israel’s security establishment, but these hopes never really came to fruition.

Will this change under the next government, likely to be sworn in soon? Probably not. The man who is set to become the minister in charge of national security is far from a calming figure for the Arab community, despite his remarks in the i24NEWS studio.

“The Arab public is not radical and does not hate the State of Israel,” Itamar Ben-Gvir, a nationalist politician set to become Minister of National Security, said.

“(Politicians) Ahmad Tibi and Ayman Odeh do, but there are many Arabs who do not hate the state of Israel.”

With 2021 being the bloodiest year in the Arab sector with 126 murders, 2022 is unfortunately quickly catching up. There is not a lot of optimism that 2023, with a very unpopular minister in the Arab community in charge of national security, will be much different.

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