Palestinians in ‘Israel’ strike against violence and policing

Palestinians in ‘Israel’ observe a general strike to protest police apathy toward rise in crime

Palestinians inside ‘Israel’ observed today a general strike called for by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee to protest Israeli police apathy and inaction in dealing with violent crime rocking the Palestinian community in ‘Israel’, said local sources.

Public services, educational facilities and schools, municipalities and local councils and commercial institutions observed the strike.

The Higher Committee also called for a protest march in the northern Arab Israeli town of Majd al-Kroum this afternoon where two brothers were recently shot dead in a brawl and another man was seriously injured with stab wounds.

Meanwhile, the Arab Joint List announced that its 13 lawmakers will boycott the swearing-in ceremony for the new Israeli parliament, the Knesset, today, which coincides with the same day of the strike.

Analysts accused the Israeli government of encouraging and intentionally ignoring the rise in crime, particularly murder cases, in the Arab communities in order to weaken these communities and cause their fragmentation.

They said more than 90% of the weapons sold in the black market in the Arab communities came from Israeli security sources and 60% of the murder cases were carried out by these weapons.

The Palestinian leaders of the Arab communities, including members of the Knesset, have often called on the Israeli government and police to give attention to rise in crime in their communities similar to the effort exert in Jewish communities, where crime and murder are fought with intense force.

Some 60 Palestinians have been shot dead inside Israeli Arab towns since the start of the year.

The general strike of Palestinian citizens of ‘Israel’ has been joined not only by workers and shopkeepers in in the “Triangle” area around Nazareth in the north, but also in the southern Naqab desert region, Hussein al-Abra of Panorama reports.

Thursday’s protest targets the Israeli police forces’ lack of enforcement in Arab areas, and is also critical of Palestinian society itself.

Schools were reportedly opening with empty classes, and there were pictures of closed shopping centers from the southern Palestinian cities and villages.

The right wing Arutz Sheva reported that the newly elected Palestinian members of the Knesset will not take part in the swearing-in ceremony on Thursday because of their participation in the strike, which was called by the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of ‘Israel’.