General Strike Called in Arab Community Over Rampant Violent Killings

A general strike will be held today, Friday, in the Arab community in protest of today’s deadly mass shooting in Yafa, the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel umbrella group announces. The Committee calls for protests to be held in cities and towns over the weekend.

Police and medical teams at the scene where five people were shot dead in the Arab town of Yafia, northern Israel, June 8, 2023 (Photo: Magen David Adom)

Six people were shot to death along with two others seriously injured in three shooting incidents in northern Arab villages on Thursday, according to the Magen David Adom emergency services. Five people have been killed in a shooting incident in the town of Yafia, near Nazareth in northern Israel, one of the most deadliest incidents of criminal violence in recent years and a man was killed outside the village of Kafr Qasem on Thursday evening Earlier, a 3-year-old girl was seriously injured and a 30-year-old man was critically injured in Kafr Kanna,

MK Ayman Odeh, the leader Hadash-Ta’al opposition party, launches an attack on the government, saying the blood spilled today in the “shocking massacre” in Yafia is on the hands of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir. In a statement, Odeh says Arab community leaders “have for years been calling for getting the weapons off the streets and for cracking down on crime organizations.”

He urges the government to “immediately fire” Ben Gvir. “We won’t accept this negligence”. “We will cause the whole country to strike until this stop,” he adds. Also, Hadash MK Youssef Atawna turned to Twitter in a call for Ben-Gvir to be fired following the shooting in Yafia, and continued increased violence. “I call for the immediate dismissal of the minister in charge of citizen security who failed in his duty to provide security to the Arab citizens of the country,” saying that it has been enough.

The Abraham Initiatives coexistence organization, which has been tracking the rise in crime in the Arab community for several years, has put the number of Arabs killed this year now at 98. According to the Abraham Initiatives, some 75 percent of murders in the community emanate from organized crime. According to the Knesset Research and Information Center, based on police data, 731 people in Israel were killed violently between 2018 and 2022. Despite the fact that the Arab community comprises just 21 percent of the population, they accounted for 70 percent of the victims. While the number of Arab killings is growing, among Jews, the homicide rate of 30-35 victims annually has remained mostly steady.