Middle East

Crime victims among Arab Israelis reach 24 in 2021

Arabs have been staging weekly protests to decry inaction of Israeli authorities

Zain Khalil   | 14.03.2021
Crime victims among Arab Israelis reach 24 in 2021

JERUSALEM

A young Arab Israeli man died on Saturday after being shot by two assailants outside his home in the Arab city of Tira, according to Israeli media.

The killing of the 27-year-old Iyad Qassem, whose death was announced on Sunday morning, brings the death toll of crime victims within the Arab community in Israel to 24 since the beginning of this year, the official Public Broadcasting Corporation reported.

"We are moving from one murder to another. This is a play that repeats every week, and we cannot save our children," said Sameh Al-Iraqi, the deputy mayor of Tira.

Al-Iraqi slammed the Israeli police for failing to combat crime and violence in the Arab community. "If the two young men who shot Iyad realized that there is a 1% chance that they would be captured and tried, they would think again."

The deputy mayor also blamed the attacks on the lack of strict laws on the purchase of firearms, adding that they have become “like buying bread from the grocery store."

The Arab community in Israel has staged continuous demonstrations denouncing the spread of crime and the failure of the police to confront crime and collect weapons.

The protests have been taking place every Friday for the past weeks in a number of Arab cities especially in the city of Umm al-Fahm.

On Saturday, hundreds of people demonstrated the killing of 15-year-old Muhammad Adas at the entrance to the Arab village of Jaljuliya. Adas was shot dead on Tuesday near a police station.

Similar crimes have claimed the lives of 110 Arabs in Israel in 2020.

*Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara contributed to this report

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