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Arabs to strike to protest Israel Police’s neglect of their community

September 4, 2023 at 2:11 pm

People attend the funeral of 36-year-old Abdulrahim Fayiz Ghannam who killed in the raid by Israeli forces, in Tubas, West Bank on September 01, 2023. [Nedal Eshtayah – Anadolu Agency]

Leaders representing Arab municipalities in Israel have issued a call for a general strike tomorrow in protest against the surge in crime that has resulted in the deaths of more than 160 Palestinian citizens of Israel due to Israel’s systemic negligence.

In a statement released yesterday, the National Committee of Arab Local Authorities and the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee also called for the creation of an emergency committee to tackle the increasing crimes, which they blamed the Israeli government for, asserting that it has neglected the welfare of Arab citizens.

The strike will involve local authorities, businesses and the education sector, with schools operating only during a portion of the morning. According to Walla, students will participate in protest convoys along with the other strikers.

READ: Israel breaks 30-year record for administrative detentions

The announcement for the strike came after the funerals of a prominent imam who was fatally shot in the northern Arab town of Kafr Qara on Saturday, just two days after a double homicide in the Arab town.

Sheikh Sami Abed Al-Latif, 60, was gunned down as he was leaving a mosque in the northern Arab city. He was renowned for his involvement in mediating conflicts within the community.

Hundreds of people attended his funeral on Sunday and took part in a prayer-protest on Route 65 which leads to the city.

“We don’t recall murders in the village at all, for decades,” one resident, who lives near the mosque, told Walla. “It was safe here. It was safe in other Arab villages. What has changed is the government,” added the resident.

Protests were also held last month in Umm Al-Fahm, Wai Ara, Tamra and other areas with placards reading: “The blood of Arabs is not cheap.”

Haaretz reported that 168 Palestinian citizens of Israel have lost their lives this year, with a notable surge in fatalities during the month of July.

Palestinian citizens of Israel face systematic discrimination and complain of being treated as second-class citizens in comparison to their Jewish counterparts. Numerous human rights groups decry Israeli policies against Arabs as a form of modern-day apartheid, with Arabs suffering racial discrimination in education, work and health care.

READ: Jerusalem: 3 Palestinians killed and 132 detained in August