Ynet's crime corresponded Eli Senyor
Ynet's crime corresponded Eli Senyor
A mother of a 15-year-old Arab Israeli boy murdered in Jaljulia

Israel remains impotent as crime ravages Arab sector

Opinion: The fact that four Israeli Arabs are murdered in a single weekend is now the rule rather than the exception and it is nothing short of a tragedy, while police chief continues to mishandle the rapidly deteriorating situation

Eli Senyor |
Published: 08.30.21, 13:03
Israel's police under the leadership of commissioner Kobi Shabtai has completely lost control over the rampant crime wave ravaging the Arab sector.
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  • The fact that four Israeli Arabs lost their lives over the past weekend is something that is now considered a "norm", which is nothing short of a tragedy.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    סוהילה עדס, אמו של מוחמד עדס
    סוהילה עדס, אמו של מוחמד עדס
    A mother of a 15-year-old Arab Israeli boy murdered in Jaljulia
    (Photo: Shaul Golan)
    Despite all the promises by Israeli officials, criminals in the Arab sector continue to act unabated.
    Already at the start of his tenure, Shabtai was criticized by many officials within the force for choosing to promote associates of his over professional officers – with some even forced to retire.
    Now the police chief understands who much this criticism was warranted.
    It started with protests in East Jerusalem, continued to the riots in mixed cities during the 11-days of fighting in Gaza in May and now the complete anarchy in Arab communities.
    No one in Israel Police's upper echelon has a thorough plan on how to deal with this, while high-profile officials always seem to disappear when these horrific murders take place.
    The only one trying to fight organized crime is Northern District police chief Shimon Lavi, but he is already mired in the state inquiry into April's deadly stampede at Mount Meron and it is doubtful whether he has any more strength left in him to continue fighting.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    מפכ"ל המשטרה קובי שבתאי
    מפכ"ל המשטרה קובי שבתאי
    Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai
    (Photo: Elad Gershgon)
    The rest of the district's commanders remain silent, praying that the shootings will stop on their own.
    In a desperate move, Shabtai called an emergency meeting on Sunday at Central District Headquarters in Ramla – the jurisdiction in which the four Israeli Arabs were killed over the weekend – with some speculating the move was done as a form of thinly-veiled criticism against the area's commanders.
    Past experiences unfortunately show that such gestures do little to better the situation.
    The last time the police chief called an emergency meeting in the Central District was during the rioting in May.
    After the meeting, the command post in Lod was dismantled and Shabtai took direct control of the situation.
    This decision, however, only made the situation worse, with the force needing "civilian vigilantes" to overcome the chaos in the mixed city.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    A local resident stands by his burning car during clashes between Israeli Arabs and police in Lod, May 11,2021
    A local resident stands by his burning car during clashes between Israeli Arabs and police in Lod, May 11,2021
    A local resident stands by his burning car during clashes between Israeli Arabs and police in Lod, May 11, 2021
    (Photo: AP)
    The post of Central District chief still remains unmanned after Deputy Commissioner Moshe Bereket announced his retirement several weeks ago.
    Add to this the fact that the commander of the police station in Lod – probably the most volatile area in the country when it comes to organized crime – has also decided to retire several weeks into his tenure, with no replacement on the radar.
    It was just earlier this month that police officials celebrated the launching of a new crime-fighting campaign, which now proves to be nothing more than a PR stunt.
    For years the Israel Police has promised Israeli Arabs it will help them. A new station here, a few more officers there, but everything only gets worse day by day.
    This charade will probably keep going in the coming days, with flashy photos of SWAT teams descending on the Arab cities to make arrests and confiscate some weapons.
    The public has lost all faith in those sworn to protect it and seems now that even those in police's high ranks do not believe themselves either.

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