Thousands gathered in the Arab cities of Jaljulia and Umm al-Fahm on Friday, March 12, to protest the government’s lackadaisical campaign against crime in the wake of the shooting death of 14-year-old Muhammad Abdelrazek Ades and the critical gunshot wounding of 12-year-old Mustafa Osama Hamed there last Tuesday, March 9, when the two boys were sitting outside their homes, Al-Ittihad and Zo Haderech reported. Ades was the 23rd murder victim from the Arab community in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem since the start of 2021. Last Friday’s protest was the third to take place in Jaljulia following the heinous gangland crime just days earlier.
Friday’s protest by hundreds in Umm el-Fahm marked the ninth consecutive week that demonstrations have taken place there since the shooting death of 21-year-old Muhammad Agbaria, a resident of the city, who was killed on January 22. Here too, the protests are over the halfhearted if any attempts by Israel’s government and police to address the violent rampage of organized crime throughout the country’s Arab communities and the proliferation of illegally held weapons there, reflecting the authorities’ seeming indifference to, if not outright encouragement of, the lawlessness.
In Jaljulia, Darwish Rabi, the Hadash head of the local city council, said after the shooting of the two boys last Tuesday, “Both are victims of the criminal neglect of Netanyahu and his government. Netanyahu is responsible for the crime and the neglect [to collect] illegal weapons in the Arab community… What’s going on today in the Arab community has crossed all red lines; there are none left. This is a civil war… There is no rule here, no law, and no governance.”