Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Haifa, Ramle and Eilat are among the Israeli cities with the highest rate of police cases opened for violent crimes, while Umm al-Fahm and Elad have the lowest proportion of cases for such offenses.

The data, which refer to 2010, were collected by the Public Security Ministry for a national crime index, as part of Israel's obligations as a member of the OECD.

Haaretz has obtained a copy of an internal ministry report on violent crime figures for the 54 Israeli cities with a population of 30,000 or more, from 2006 to 2010.

For the purposes of the study, violent offenses included robbery, making threats and fighting, sex crimes and aggravated assault (murder, manslaughter, aggravated battery ). The report was compiled by Israel Police Chief Superintendent Besora Regev, head of the Public Security Ministry's research department.

Acre, Afula and Tiberias are also among the cities with the largest number of cases - between 37.6 amd 59.1 cases for every thousand residents. The researchers note that the reasons behind the high numbers can vary, pointing out that the majority of violent crimes reported to police in Eilat, for example, involve visitors rather than permanent residents.

Ministry officials also stress that high case rates do not necessarily reflect high rates of violence. They may in fact reflect the public's trust in the local police. Likewise, low reporting rates, particularly in certain Arab communities, is attributed to a lack of confidence in the police.

According to an examination carried out by Regev and based on data from the Central Bureau of Statistics and by health, education and welfare authorities, in 2009 only 45 percent of victims of violence went to the police, compared with 41 percent in 2009. Israel Police officials attributed the figures to the victims' lack of confidence in the police or unwillingness to "incriminate" their attackers.

On the national level, in 2008, firearms were used in 68 murders in Israel, or 0.84 per 100,000 people, putting Israel high on the list. In 2009, the figure reached 0.97 per 100,000.