Anti-Crime Plan in Arab Sector Kicks Off

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett examines captured weapons as the government launches its fight against crime in the Arab sector. (Amos B)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett gave an update Wednesday on his government’s plans to bring down the rampaging rate of violent crime in the Arab sector.

“On 3 July, I announced the formulation of a plan to fight crime in the Arab sector…Today, we established a branch on foiling crime in the Arab sector. I have approved the national plan to defeat crime in the Arab sector and at these very moments we are completing ‘Operation Sword Strike’ against over 200 targets throughout the country to capture illegal weapons, from Arara, Hura and Rahat in the south, to Shfaram, Kafr Kana and villages in the north.

“Israel Police officers simultaneously raided hundreds of places with great success, but this is only the beginning. Our test is not at the start but in the persistence and determination to defeat and uproot crime, and collect weapons, so that a girl from the Arab sector can study for matriculation without shots being fired in the street,” Bennett said at a press conference.

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev described some details of the five-year plan, which he said has “four components: The strong and soft arms, supportive legislation – that will allow criminals to be swiftly and efficiently brought to court, crime families to be broken up and put an end to protection rackets. And fourth, and most importantly, marching hand in hand with a civilian committee of Arab municipal leaders and opinion-makers from the Arab sector in Israel. We have not invented the wheel. In the past decade, previous governments of Israel presented lofty plans more than once, but we have come to act.”

In a press release, Bennett’s office listed further specifications: to add 1,100 personnel to the Israel Police; budgeting for the establishment of two economic units to deal with protection rackets and economic crime; establishment of the Tabor and Jisr az-Zarqa police stations has been approved as has the boosting of police stations in Arab communities including the Bedouin areas.