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Knesset passes law allowing police searches without warrants, Ben-Gvir working to form national guard

April 1, 2023 at 10:04 am

Police officers take security measures as Israeli non-governmental organizations gather in front of the parliament building (Knesset) [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

As the chaos of crime escalates in Arab society, the Knesset has passed a law initiated by the extreme right wing in Israel, allowing the police to search homes without a warrant. Meanwhile, the Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir is working to form a national guard after reaching understandings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In an interview with Arab48, lawyer Khaled Al-Zabarqa described the law, which allows the police to conduct house searches without a warrant, as: “Political and aiming to further harass the Arabs, not to combat violence, crimes and weapons trade.”

The bill, which allows police officers to search homes without needing a court order, was approved this week in the second and third readings by a majority in the Knesset. The proposal for the law was made by the far-right Otzma Yehudit party led by Ben-Gvir.

Commenting on the adoption of the law, Al-Zabarqa told Arab48: “We do not trust the government’s procedures and legislation because it is clear that this government is a fascist government and seeks with all its might to restrict the Arab presence in the Palestinian interior, especially in mixed cities. It considers the Arab presence and Arab population as a threat to the Jewish state.”

He added: “Therefore, we view these measures with suspicion and concern because they will benefit from them for a political objective, and not for the sake of applying the law, preserving people’s lives and fighting crime.”

Al-Zabarqa explained: “These legislations are issued due to the presence of an extremist, fascist and terrorist minister, who was convicted of terrorism in the past. Today, he is at the head of this ministry and therefore he will use this law to implement his extremist and racist agenda, which doubles the danger of this law.”

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As for his answer to the question about whether there is a shortage of police tools to combat violence and crime, Al-Zabarqa responded: “The police do not lack any tools to combat violence, crime and arms trade, but the Israeli police claim powerlessness in the face of crime in Arab society.”

He stressed: “We believe that what the police lack is not the tools, but the will. If it has the real will to fight violence and crime, it will succeed.”

Al-Zabarqa asserted that it is clear the source of the bullets in the country is the official authorities, proven by the fact that: “If the police only drained the sources of the bullets, then the weapons would be left without bullets, and it would be nothing more than a pile of metal. We do not have weapons and bullet factories. Ninety-nine per cent of the weapons and bullets are sourced from the army. So, if it had the intention and dried up the sources of the bullets, it would eliminate the arms trade and significantly reduce murders and shootings.”

Regarding the formation of a national guard on the orders of Ben-Gvir, Al-Zabarqa clarified: “These are militias, not a national guard. They want to transform the militias who assaulted the Arabs in the Karamah Uprising, who killed and injured them, burned their properties and attacked the vulnerable in their homes and vehicles, from terrorist groups into official bodies with official powers by law and to equip them with legal arms.”

Al-Zabarqa stressed that these groups are militias in every sense of the word, and their aim is political, as they seek to spread chaos in the Arab community inside the Palestinian areas.

In response to a question about whether these militias are the extremist arm that will serve Ben-Gvir’s agenda, he added: “This is the extremist arm of the state because a state that is silent about this reality means it is satisfied with the formation of such militias, as it must be standing behind them. It is trying to portray this as coming from an insignificant person like Ben-Gvir, but we are pointing the finger at the state itself.”

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