Hundreds Protest Police Inaction vs. Gun Violence in Arab Society

Hundreds protested in northern Israel, on Friday, September 27, flagrant inaction by police against rampant gun violence in the Arab society in Israel. The action, during which protestors blocked traffic on Route 65, the “Wadi Ara road,” came after a young man, Ibrahim Mahameed, 25, was shot and killed in Umm Al-Fahm bringing the total number of Arab citizens of Israel who have been murdered so far this year to 68.

Protesters blocking the Wadi Ara road on Friday, September 27

Protesters blocking the Wadi Ara road on Friday, September 27 (Footage: Hadashot 13)

Following up Friday’s protest, students in the city of Umm Al-Fahm went out on strike on Sunday, September 27, in an effort to highlight the increasing levels of violence and crime rocking the Arab-Palestinian community in Israel. The Municipal Council of Students and Youth, which represents approximately 19,000 students, said it was taking action “as a result of the ongoing events for which we see no end but which have increased and been exacerbated, including cases of violence, murder and threats against residents…. We, students, face fear and anxiety for our safety and that of our families every day from the moment we leave the house until we return.”

Hadash MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint List), a resident of Umm Al-Fahm, said: “This alarming situation of continued internal violence in our community has become a troubling, daily reality for the Arab citizens, depriving residents of sleep at night, undermining any sense of personal security, as it has become a recurring nearly daily event due to the escalating number of firearms shootings, murders, and crime raging in our streets.”

The number of victims of such crimes, Jabareen said, “Lead the Arab citizens to a sense of helplessness mixed with a lawlessness, inaction, and lack of effective response of governmental authorities to protect the most basic human right – life!… The Israel State Comptroller’s recent report and the daily reality demonstrate that the police force repeatedly fails to protect Arab citizens.”