Photo Credit: Israel Police
Israel Police investigation

Israel Police estimates that, in 2017, some 80% of property crimes, such as burglaries and car thefts, were committed by Arab residents of Judea and Samaria, Israel Hayom reported Friday. Police data also shows that 80% of the property crime cases that were closed because the identity of the offender was unknown – said offender resides in Judea and Samaria. This despite the check post and the costly so-called security fence.

Of the burglary cases police did solve, 47% involved PA Arabs, as well as in 40% of car theft cases.

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According to findings from the police Hawkeye system, which documents vehicles passing through the crossings between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in 2017, more than 2,000 vehicles that had been stolen from their Israeli owners and transferred to the Palestinian Authority were identified at the crossings.

Most of the offenses take place within the districts of Judea and Samaria, and central and southern Jerusalem, according to police data. And while illegal weapons move from the PA into Green Line Israel, stolen property makes its way in the opposite direction, from Green Line Israel to the territories.

One major source of Arab property crime are illegal daily workers, who infiltrate into Israel in the morning, and on their way back home break into apartments or steal vehicles.

Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan (Likud) and Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich say they intend to boost the Intelligence and Investigation nits in the Judea and Samaria police, which will focus on bringing down the “illegal workers industry.”

“There is no other police force in the world that has to deal with such a shocking statistic,” Minister Erdan said in a statement Thursday. “This is a particularly difficult challenge that requires a unique response, so I am making every effort to strengthen the police in the Judea and Samaria District in order to capture the Palestinian gangs.”

According to Police intelligence, PA Arab criminals view cities east of the 1967 border, like Qalqilya, Shechem, Hebron and Tulkarm as shelter cities, where police are prevented from following criminals in hot pursuit but must coordinate all arrests with the IDF. In those cases, a variety of additional factors must be weighed, such as the Army’s evaluation of the arrests turning into full-blown battles, and government directives that have to do with international diplomacy.

The only effective way to confront PA Arab crime in Israel, police say, is to spot the criminal at the check post, follow them as they commit their crimes, and to pick them up at the end of an eventful day, to face heavy charges that would put them behind bars for several years.

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