Netanyahu Announces Plan to Deal With Violence in Israel's Arab Society

According to PM, a special team of relevant office managers and NGOs will be tasked with formulating national program to tackle the issue within 90 days

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures while speaking during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem October 27, 2019.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures while speaking during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem October 27, 2019.Credit: \ POOL New/ REUTERS

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Monday that a team will be formed to combat violence and crime in the Arab society in Israel as citizens continue to protest against perceived police inaction on the matter.

The team will be headed by the Director General of the Prime Minister's Office Ronen Peretz, a statement said. It will be tasked with formulating a national program to eradicate violence and crime in the Arab community within 90 days, and will include relevant office managers and NGOs.

The team will also engage in dialogue with the heads of the Arab authorities, said the statement.

Netanyahu presented his plan during a special hearing on Monday night at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. Also present at the meeting were several Israeli ministers and other senior officials.

The prime minister opened the discussion by acknowledging the "difficult problems that have arisen in Arab society, within the Arab communities, of crime and murders," according to the statement. These problems, he said, "cause immense suffering to the residents, and major damage to the state of Israel."

"So we meet here in an attempt to bring about change. This attempt has already begun by setting up, for the first time, police stations in Arab localities in the previous government, but we want to try to expand that and embrace different areas so that we can bring about overall change," the prime minister said.

In addition, Netanyahu directed the allocation of a budget source for opening additional police stations in Arab localities.

MK Dr. Mansour Abbas, Chairman of the Joint List's team for combating violence and crime in Arab society, responded to Netanyahu's Resolution. "The decision to set up an executive committee to formulate a plan to combat crime in Arab society is one positive step out of the many necessary steps to be taken, headed by the comprehensive government decision to address cardinal problems in Arab society in various fields."

"We will continue to work with government ministries and entities that are supposed to address the phenomenon of violence and crime and continue to protest against government failure and neglect," Abbas added.