The Arab city of Umm al-Fahm went on a general strike on Thursday in protest of the ongoing violence in the Arab sector after two people were murdered in the city over the span of 24 hours.
Businesses, institutions, and schools all closed in the city, home to nearly 60,000 residents. Locals are also planning to hold a demonstration in front of the police station in the city.
"Unfortunately, there is a total lack of security, personal security is not a commodity that is forthcoming in the city of Umm al-Fahm," Mayor Dr. Samir Mahamid told the Ynet studio in an interview.
Since the beginning of 2021, the total toll of Israeli Arabs killed in community violence has reached 108, just five shy of last year's toll, which saw a record number of murder cases in the Arab sector.
According to Arab anti-crime group Aman, 96 Arab crime victims in 2021 were shot, another five were stabbed, three were either beaten or choked to death, two were killed by explosives charges, one victim was stoned to death and another was set on fire.
Eight people were killed this year in crime-related violence in Um al-Fahm alone and none were solved by police.
"The police have to do a lot in solving these murder cases, it is inconceivable that eight murders took place in Umm al-Fahm in less than a year, three in the last week, and zero were solved," Mahamid said. "On the other hand, we as a society must take the reins in our hands."
Israel has recorded 1,623 murder cases in the Arab sector since the year 2000 but only 23% were solved by police compared to over 70% among Jewish Israelis.