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Arab members of Israel government launch hunger strike

Image of Israeli parliament Knesset in session [Itzik Edri/Wikipedia]
The Israeli Knesset [File photo]

Arab members of Israel’s Knesset and municipal officials announced yesterday that they will be launching a three-day hunger strike and protest outside the prime minister’s office in occupied Jerusalem in an effort to force authorities to increasing policing in Arab areas.

The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel announced the action which comes following weeks of protests against the failure of Israel Police to deal with the increasing crimes and violence in the Arab community.

It comes as two Arabs were killed on Friday, bringing the total of the Arabs killed last week to four and total since the start of 2019 to 80.

Speaking to the press, committee head Mohamed Baraka said: “Setting up a protest tent and the hunger strike are part of a string of actions we are taking.”

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Baraka, who is a former MK, added: “Along with Knesset members and leaders of local and regional councils, we will initiate a hunger strike to focus the public and national attention on the disaster befalling the Arab population and on the free hand criminal organisations are receiving to possess illegal weapons.”

He continued: “We do not have policing authority and it is the responsibility of the Public security minister to ensure personal and collective security.”

Meanwhile, Haaretz reported him saying: “Despite the announced by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the formation of a special team to combat crime and his speech about meetings and discussions with the police heads and local councils, we decided to continue the protests.”

“We want to make clear that … meetings and statements are not enough, but we want to see plans on the ground.”

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