Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Hadash-Ta’al parliamentary faction on Monday night, as crime in Arab communities claimed its 91st murder victim since the start of 2023. After meeting with lawmakers from the Knesset’s members and Arab local council representatives Netanyahu agreed to the establishment of a ministerial committee, which he would chair, to fight rising rates of violence and crime in Arab society in Israel.
Press conference held at the Knesset by the Hadash-Ta’al leadership after the meeting with Netanyahu, June 5, 2023 (Footage: Knesset Chanel)
Following the meeting, Hadash-Ta’al chief MK Ayman Odeh tweeted, “We do not hang our hopes on talk; the test will be results.” “In order to defeat criminal organization, trust is needed, and we have no trust in [National Security minister Itamar] Ben Gvir, the racist. A proper government would have fired him a long time ago,” Hadash-Ta’al said in a statement.
Fellow party MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash) said, “We did not come with optimism, and we did not leave with optimism but it is important for us to turn over every stone to rid ourselves of this plague and for crime to be eliminated. The burden of proof is on the government, and especially on the prime minister.” Ta’al lawmaker Ahmad Tibi added, “Crime is running rampant like a cancer that threatens to destroy our society,” and said that his party asked to step up efforts against stolen military weapons being smuggled to the Arab street.
Earlier on Monday, Hadash-Ta’al publicized a 12-point plan for fighting crime and improving personal security for Arab citizens, an initiative signed onto by Islamist party Ra’am. However, Ra’am declined to join the Monday meeting. Soliciting trust from the other side of the aisle, Odeh publicly implored Ra’am to join the meeting. “This is a moment for responsibility,” he said.