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Israeli premier announces launch of nationwide plan to fight Arab-sector crime

Israeli Arabs account for 20 percent of the population but 60 percent of the crime, says Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, vowing to end “neglect.”

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett inspects illegal weapons seized during the Israel Police's "Operation Sword Strike" in the country's Arab sector, Aug. 11, 2021. Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett inspects illegal weapons seized during the Israel Police's "Operation Sword Strike" in the country's Arab sector, Aug. 11, 2021. Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday announced a national plan to fight crime in the country’s Arab sector.

Referring to out-of-control violence in the streets of Arab-majority towns and villages, Bennett said, “my government is determined to take action and wage an unceasing, constant and persistent fight, with full force, against crime and violence in the Arab sector.”

The sector, he said, comprises 20 percent of the overall population but accounts for 60 percent of the crime.

“This situation cannot be and we will stop this neglect,” he added.

The plan, whose goals are to increase the personal security of Arab Israeli citizens and raise their confidence in Israel’s law enforcement agencies, calls for increasing police presence in Arab towns and on highways, strengthening intelligence and investigation capabilities and combating crime families and protection rackets.

In the framework of the plan, 1,100 personnel will be added to the Israel Police, in addition to two financial units, which will be tasked with protection rackets and economic crime.

Bennett toured the Israel Police operational command center on Wednesday and received a real-time update on “Operation Sword Strike,” which was carried out by police earlier in the day. The goal of the operation, which targeted more than 200 sites throughout the country, was to seize illegal weapons in Arab-sector towns.

Israel Police Inspector General Shabtai said, “For the first time in the Israel Police, today, we are establishing a designated division to deal with foiling crime in the Arab sector in Israel, the goal of which is to restore security to the streets of the towns and villages.”

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