Photo Credit: Israel Police
Captured guns being smuggled in from Jordan. May 2, 2022

Tawfiq Aru, an Arab resident of the village of Jat in northern Sharon who was shot dead on Saturday night was the 34th Arab-Israeli to be murdered in crime-related violence in the five months since the beginning of 2022.

Aru, 27, was shot while sitting in his car outside his house.

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Four days ago, Johara Hanifas, a 28-year-old resident of Shefar’am and the daughter of Deputy Mayor Farak Hanifas, was killed in a car explosion near the entrance to the city.

The Avraham Initiatives Association updated Sunday that 34 Arab citizens lost their lives in 2022 in circumstances related to violence and crime.

Of the victims, five were women, 25 of the victims were shot to death, and 23 of the victims were under the age of 30.

Arab-Israeli society is plagued with daily incidents of violence. Over 110 Arabs were killed in criminal violence in 2020 and 126 in 2021.

Official police data shows that 82% of the cases opened in 2021 against firearms offenders in Israel were committed by Arab Israeli citizens in Arab localities.

In the police’s northern coast district, for instance, in 2021, 1,615 cases involving weapons offenses were opened, 80% of them in Arab localities of Umm al-Fahm, Baqa al-Gharbiya, Jisr a-Zarqa, and Wadi Ara.

The Arab population in Israel constitutes about 20% of the entire population.

Speaking at the Knesset’s Public Security Committee in September 2021, Minister of Public Security Omer Barlev described the lawlessness in the Arab sector as “a genuine threat to the internal security of the State of Israel.”

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.