Netanyahu: I'm Not Moved by Criticism, Law in Arab Communities Must Be Enforced

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem August 16, 2015. Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Sunday's cabinet meeting rejected criticism of his remarks against the Israeli-Arab community made Saturday night at the site of the Tel Aviv shooting.

Netanyahu said that the government is "making a very large effort to ensure Israel is state under unified law," saying that "It's true that I am not impressed by criticism in this regard. This is true for all Israeli citizens - Jews and Arabs alike."

Netanyahu added: "Law enforcement is the lifeblood of democracy, of the rule of law. We do not limit to one community or focus on one community. This morning, we filed indictments against the two suspects behind Duma. We oppose all murder, we are against violence wherever it is and violations of state law wherever they may occur."

Netanyahu noted that right after the government was formed several months ago, he instructed the public security minister and police commissioner to focus on increasing law enforcement in Arab communities. "Arab citizens are suffering from rising crime, and all Israeli citizens suffer from incitement and violence that is both criminal and nationalistic. This effort is real and we decided to make a change in law enforcement," Netanyahu said.

The prime minister added that part of enhancing law enforcement in Arab communities will be enforcing noise regulations against mosques, referring to the law submitted by Yisrael Beiteinu to the previous government. Netanyahu has said in the past that he supports the potential law restricting the use of loudspeakers in mosques. 

Netanyahu said that building codes in Arab communities, currently not enforced, need to be handled to treat incitement in mosques and the education sector, as well as to handle the collection of illegal weapons. "This activity will increase," added Netanyahu.

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