MK Odeh: Erdan Is Handing Out Guns while Arab Society Bleeds

Three people were killed Thursday night, August 30, in two separate shooting incidents in Arab communities in Israel. A man and his fiancée were shot in their car at the entrance to the city of Tira. In the second incident, 33-year-old Faysal Raddad was killed in Jisr as-Zarqa.

The scene of the Thursday night double-murder in Tira

The scene of the Thursday night double-murder in Tira (Photo: Magen David Adom)

The couple, Mahmoud Hajaj and Rima Abu Hayat, both aged 20, were driving together when several shots were fired at them, police say. After being hit, Hajaj lost control of the car and crashed into a nearby store. The shooting in Tira came a few months after another murder in the city. In May, Zubeida Mansur, 19, was shot to death in her home. Mansur lived with her four brothers in their parents’ home.

Hadash MK Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, said in response to the shooting: “A young couple recently engaged to be married was shot in Tira tonight. While the Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, is proposing to freely hand out weapons to anyone, Arab society is bleeding.” Odeh added, “There is no sadder testimony to the police’s neglect in their handling of illegal weapons and crime gangs [in the Arab community]… While we are fighting for our security, the security of our children, the Minister is playing with guns.”

According to a new plan launched on Monday, August 20 by far-right Minister Erdan, as many as half a million veterans of Israel army infantry units with a level of training of Rifleman 07 and higher will be entitled to apply for a gun license. In addition, officers and NCOs will not be required to return their weapon and weapon license when they are released from active reserve duty.

Furthermore, those who have possessed a firearm license for their private gun for a period of more than ten years may continue to hold it – without proof of compliance with license’s stipulations. In addition, volunteers in appropriate units of the Israel Police, as well as volunteers and paid employees of emergency services, like Magen David Adom, are now allowed to request a gun permit.

Hadash MK Dov Khenin (Joint List) has come out against the reform: “Welcome to the war zone. More weapons mean more violence, more accidents, and more wounded and dead. The trend should be the opposite: a reduction in the presence of weapons in the civilian space in Israel – which is too high – and certainly not an expansion of it.”

“Like many bad fads that the right in Israel imports from the right in the United States, in this case too, it is better to stop before starting. Before there will be massacres here in schools, and before there will be another intolerable increase in the murders of women in their homes,” Khenin said.

Related: New Government Plan: More Weapons in the Hands of Civilians