Photo Credit: Yehonatan Valtser/TPS
Police forensics vehicle in a street in Jerusalem. Jerusalem, Nov 7, 2019.

A 44-year-old man who was murdered in the Arab village of Deir al-Assad in northern Israel on Monday was the 100th murder victim from the Arab sector since the beginning of 2021.

The police stated that the man was killed in a drive-by shooting. An MDA team pronounced him dead at the scene. The police have launched a search for the shooters.

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The police have been facing sharp criticism over their apparent failure to contend with the ongoing wave of violence in the Arab sector.

Since the police established its special Sayif Unit to eradicate crime in the Arab society, more than 30 people have been killed and 40 injured in multiple criminal incidents, while 80% of the murder cases in Arab society are not solved.

Ministry of Public Security Director General Tomer Lotan told the Knesset last week that his ministry’s budget includes funds directed towards combatting crime in the Arab sector: NIS 100 million, over five years, including NIS 20 million for augmenting the community programs and the connection with the local government; NIS 25 million, over five years, for strengthening the witness protection program; and NIS 19 million for building additional fire stations in Arab communities.

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

The police increased its activity against the plague of shootings and weapons offenses in recent years, and in 2020 arrested 5,713 suspects in shootings and other weapons crimes throughout the country, an increase of 22% compared to 2019.

The vast majority of police activity is carried out in the Arab sector, and about 90% of the suspects arrested for shooting and weapons offenses are Arab Israelis.

Approximately 85% of the indictments filed in Israel in 2020 for shooting, illegal possession of weapons, trafficking, and illegal use of weapons have been filed against suspects from the Arab society.

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