More than 30,000 people live In Tamra, a city in the Galilee. But Tamra has no police station.
Neither d Sakhnin, a city of 28,000, Baqa-Jatt which has 35,000 residents, and a number of other Arab communities. The situation is exected to change, with ten new police stations planned to be set up as part of a program to reinforce policing in the Arab sector.
The high crime figures in the Arab sector led the Ministry of Public Security and the police to formulate a comprehensive plan to strengthen law enforcement, entailing the recruitment of 1,350 new police officers, building new police stations, and reinforcing some existing stations.
The prospect of increasing police stations in Arab-majority areas hsa been on the able for many months, but was announced as a priority by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a terror attack on Dizengoff Streetin Tel Aviv, carried out by an Israeli Arab from the village of Ara. The call to boost law enforcement also came from the Arab population, given that it is the first to suffer from rising crime rates.
According to data presented by Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh a month ago to the Knesset Interior Committee, while Israeli Arabs constitute 21 percent of the population, they represent 59 percent of murder (mostly non-terror-related) cases, 47 percent of robbery cases, 32 percent of property crimes, and 27 percent of drug trafficking offenses.
The new police stations are to be set up in Sakhnin, Iksal, Maghar Qana, Tamra, Majd al-Krum, Jisr az-Zarqa, Baka al-Gharbia, and another station in Acre to service local residents.
In addition, a directorate for dealing with crime in the Arab sector is to be set up at the national police headquarters. Assistant Commissioner Jamal Hakroush is expected to be promoted to deputy commissioner, which would make him the first Muslim Arab in Israel to hold the position. The police are working to ensure sizable number of new police officers will be Arab Muslims, which would help increase trust among the Arab sector.
This is one of the flagship projects of Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan and Police Chief Alsheikh. Erdan worked for several months to increase the budget in order to implement the program, and now the issue is to be decided by the Ministries of Finance and Public Security and the Prime Minister. According to Erdan, "the implementation of the plan will lead to a huge improvement in the quality of life of Israeli Arabs and reduce crime and violence throughout the country."