Photo Credit: Eitan Elhadez / TPS

Two Israel Police officers were injured Thursday at around 5 am in an attack by members of a private Islamist militia in the Israeli Arab city of Kafr Qassem while entering City Hall in an arrest operation, according to the Hebrew-language Walla! News outlet.

The attackers, members of the city’s so-called internal security force, “Al-Hirasa,” cursed and punched the police officers in the face, kicked them and attempted to choke them.


“We are the law here,” the Al-Hirasa attackers told the police officers.

Al-Hirasa — the militia of the Islamic Movement in Kafr Qassem — has been operating in the city for 30 years, primarily with volunteer forces, Walla! News reported. Its members are dressed in civilian attire and travel in private vehicles. Some of the volunteers are ex-convicts.

Hebrew-language reporter Liran Levi posted a video of the incident on Twitter.

A separate video was posted by Yedidya Epstein.

Israeli Police official Dudi Levy requested an extension of the detention of two of the attackers, adding that two police officers had come to the Kafr Qassem municipality building after receiving a report of a man being taken into the building and behaving violently.

“These are private police; they have been known for many years and yet there is silence from the establishment,” a separate senior police officer told Walla! News.

The event comes as part of the growing wave of violence in Israel’s Arab society. Four arrests were made following the incident.

In response to the incident, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement Saturday night after the close of the Sabbath, “I stand alongside the police officers who were violently attacked in Kafr Kassem. Violence in the Arab sector has reached an intolerable point. We will fight it with full force.

“I expect the Arab sector, which is asking for the state to intervene, to give the police its support and backing.

“We will reach the assailants and deal with them to the fullest extent of the law.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.