The Knesset voted down on Wednesday, July 14, by a margin of just three votes (54 for, 57 against) a bill sponsored by head of Joint List MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) to form a parliamentary commission of inquiry into crime and violence in the Arab community. Coalition member MKs from the Islamist Ra’am party, Meretz and Labor all voted against the bill, significantly contributing to its defeat, Zo Haderech and Al-Ittihad have reported.
Before the vote on Wednesday, July 14, Odeh told in the Knesset plenum, “Under the pall of violence and crime that is shedding the blood of Arab citizens, we must found a commission of inquiry into the failures of the police.”
On the afternoon of the very same day that the bill was defeated, a former member of the local council of the Arab city of Qalansawe in the center of the country was shot and killed in his hometown. The communist Arabic-language daily, Al-Ittihad reported that Bakr Natour, 43, was shot to death in broad daylight. Over the past few months, at least two of Natour’s brothers have been wounded in shootings.
In 2020, around 70% of homicide victims in Israel were Arabs, even though they constitute just 20% of the population. According to the NGO Abraham Initiatives, some 46 Arabs in Israel have been killed in homicides since the beginning of 2021.
Video: MK Ayman Odeh addresses the Knesset plenum calling for it to adopt the founding of a parliamentary commission of inquiry into crime and violence in the Arab community (Mostly Hebrew, some Arabic)