Photo: Visual/Photos
Tensions high (Illustration
Photo: Visual/Photos

Arab-Jewish tensions high in Beersheba

Jewish residents in Beersheba neighborhood upset at Palestinian collaborators relocated to site

Tensions are high and brawls are becoming common as Jewish residents at a Beersheba neighborhood increasingly clash with Palestinian collaborators settled in the area.


"You can't let your children go out alone; the Palestinians are beating them up and threatening them," an angry local resident says. "They took over this neighborhood, they do whatever they feel like, and they seduce our girls with all sorts of nonsense."


Several Palestinian collaborators and their families were settled in the southern town after assisting Israeli security forces. Initially, the Palestinians were welcomed into the neighborhood, but recent months saw greater friction between Jews and Arabs, culminating in several brawls pitting veteran Jewish residents against newly arrived Palestinians.


"Take a walk around here and see how many people are selling their apartments," another local Jewish man says. "Yet nobody is interested. There's supply, but no demand."


However, the Palestinian collaborators are also upset and say they feel as though they live in ghettos. They say that they have not been accepted by Israeli society, while authorities neglect them.


"We gave our blood for the sake of the Jews," says one collaborator, who in the past resided in Rafah. "I came out against my people and against my brothers for the sake of the state of Israel. The way you are treating us is not nice."


Muhammad Akhras, the unofficial representative of the collaborator population in Beersheba, says he is aware of the problem.


"I hear those things, I'm meeting the people, and I think this needs to be addressed urgently," he says. "There's no need at all to get the police involved; this is not a matter for the police. The people there need to sit down and solve the problems. I know the people there, believe me, those are good people who want to live their lives. They don't want a mess."


Akhras says he is hurt by remarks made by Jewish residents, and that he expects a fairer treatment on the part of the local Jewish population.


"We did our job and safeguarded you, so people won't get hurt in Israel," he says. "Believe me, It hurts me to hear those things…we gave our lives for the sake of Israel, we don't deserve to be referred to as criminals."


פרסום ראשון: 07.11.09, 18:16
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