Arab Protest Convoys Mobilize Against Far-Right Government Mismanagement of Crime

A convoy of vehicles, organized by Higher Arab Monitoring to protest the authorities’ incompetence in dealing with crime and violence in Arab-Palestinian community in Israel, was set off on Sunday from the country’s north and south towards Jerusalem. Among the protesters in Sunday’s convoy were numerous activists from the Communist Party of Israel (CPI) and Hadash, including lawmakers, local authorities and leading members of unions.

The northern convoy blocked traffic for about an hour on Route 6, close to the entrance of the highway’s junction with the Arab towns of Baka al-Garbiyeh and Jatt in the Triangle region, before heading south towards Jerusalem. There the demonstrators gathered in front of the Prime Minister office to “send the government a message.”

MK Aida Touma-Sliman among the hundreds who blocked traffic on Route 6, Sunday, May 21, to protest far-right government and police inactivity in eliminating violent crime in Israel’s Arab communities (Photo: Zo Haderech)

Chairman of the Arab Monitoring High Committee and leading CPI activist, Mohammad Barakeh, told Haaretz on Sunday that “crime in Arab society is the result of a deliberate policy, designed to divert attention from political and national issues and focus it on personal security.”

According leaked recorded conversation about violence in Arab community with National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai said, “Minister, nothing can be done. They murder each other. It’s their nature. It’s the Arabs’ mentality.” Since the beginning of 2023, 80 people have been murdered in Israel’s Arab society, a far higher number than in any previous year. Only eight of the cases have been solved.