A senior police officer has reportedly claimed that the police are limited in their ability to respond to violent crimes in the Arab-Palestinian national minority in Israel because those responsible for the violence “are mostly informants for the Israel Security Agency” [Shin Bet, Shabak].
According to a report broadcast by Channel 13 News on Wednesday evening, June 30, the comment was made in a recent high-level meeting at the national headquarters of the Israel Police in preparation for a separate meeting scheduled for the same day between Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai and Public Security Minister Omer Barlev.
According to the report, the police representative in the meeting blamed the Shin Bet security service for the police force’s apparent inability to deal with spiraling violent crime in the Arab community and the recent surge in ethnic riots and violence in mixed Jewish and Arab cities.
“The criminals who are currently leading the serious crime in Arab society are mostly Shin Bet informants and in this situation, the police’s hands are tied because those informants, who enjoy immunity, cannot be touched,” the unnamed senior officer was reported to have said.
Mother of Four Shot Dead in Haifa
A 28-year-old mother of four from Haifa was shot dead on Wednesday morning, June 30. Maysar Othman was shot in the head in front of two of her children in an apartment in the Khalisa neighborhood of the city, in the latest deadly incident of domestic in the country’s Arab community.
Paramedics arrived at the scene after neighbors was reported the shooting to emergency services. They were forced to declare her death on the scene. Police opened an investigation into the murder and began searching for forensic evidence.
Hadash MK Ofer Cassif of the opposition Joint List, said police and law enforcement authorities bear some responsibility for the woman’s death. “Without removing any guilt from the heinous killer, we must demand accountability from the police, the prosecution, and the courts who repeatedly turn a blind eye to violence against women in general and within the family in particular,” Cassif tweeted.
Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) said that Othman had become one of the “sad and tragic statistics” and that “the murder of Maysir Othman in front of her children is heartbreaking.” Touma-Sliman called for the “immediate funding of the government plan for a campaign against domestic violence.”
Eight Arab women have been killed in Israel since the beginning of the year. In total, 41 Arab citizens have died in the country since January 1 due to violent crimes; 25 of the fatalities were under the age of 30.
A state comptroller report released Wednesday, June 30, found that between 2017 and 2020, only NIS 128 million (approximately $39 million) has been provided of the NIS 300 million needed to implement the national campaign against domestic violence. This is less than 43% of the funding earmarked for the fight against domestic violence.
During the period of the COVID-19 outbreak, there was a steep rise in recorded cases of domestic homicide in Israel, the report said. In 2019, five women in Israel were murdered by their partners; in 2020 the figure jumped to 13, 2.6 times higher than the previous year.