The Prime Minister's Office is preparing to implement a series of measures to deal with crime in the Arab sector and in other sectors. After the meeting between the prime minister and the Arab Knesset members, and after his ministry's director-general, Yossi Shelly, met with the committee of heads of Arab municipalities last week, Netanyahu intends to lead a comprehensive plan and solutions for the Arab sector on crime and police work.
Israel Hayom has learned that on the agenda: the appointment of a joint project on the issue – two professionals from the Jewish and Arab sectors, round tables to solve the problems of illegal construction, and the allocation of funds for the installation of street cameras (after an examination).
The dozens of murders in Arab society since the beginning of the year are mostly attributed to a gang war in northern Israel, which has claimed many victims, including non-involved civilians. The terror in the streets of Arab cities and the unimaginable number of victims led Netanyahu to announce last week that he would step in to deal with the problem. Exclusive quotes from the meeting obtained by Israel Hayom show Netanyahu's mood in dealing with the issue, as well as the demands of Arab Knesset members.
Getting into the thick of the beam. Netanyahu, Photo: Jonathan Zindel/Flash 90
"The State of Israel cannot afford terrorism. It's not defined as terrorism, but what you have is terrorism. It's unbearable. We have begun to deal with it, this is nothing new, and we must continue to deal with it," Netanyahu told those present at Monday's meeting. Netanyahu also claimed that he is having difficulty finding the legal tools to fight crime, adding, "There are many difficulties with the legislation. On the one hand, there is the power to try to find the weapons, on the other hand, there are criminal organizations here that are like terrorist organizations, but I don't have the legal tools to deal with it properly."
At the very beginning of the meeting, Tibi gave Netanyahu a list of the 90 names of the murdered and told him, "Your responsibility is that this number will not rise and I hope that by the end of the meeting the list will not be updated." Minutes before the end of the meeting, another man was murdered in the sector. "The first responsibility of the state is to protect citizens from external and internal threats. This is where a wild threat grows. We must deal with this wild crop immediately," Netanyahu told him, adding that if "the police succeeded in eradicating the criminal organizations in Jewish society, there is no reason why we should not succeed in the Arab sector as well. I am the prime minister and I am responsible."
Came to the meeting with the list of murdered. MK Tibi, Photo: Oren Ben Hakon
At the meeting, the sources also discussed the fact that the recent increase in numbers is attributed to the war of criminal organizations in the north and the need to dedicate special tools to this struggle. Tibi told Netanyahu: "Two weeks ago, an Arab resident of Acre was murdered in Dubai, within six hours all the suspects were arrested with pictures and a video, and within two days an indictment was filed. What does the Dubai Police have that Israel doesn't have?" Prime Minister's Office Director General Yossi Shelly replied that Dubai is networked with cameras and Israeli law does not allow it. Despite this, it became known that Shelly is examining the possibility of introducing cameras into the streets in Arab cities that will be connected to a kind of live center where the footage will be monitored.
"We will continue where the previous government stopped. According to Resolution 549, there are close to NIS 2.4 billion that can be used for security and cameras that will be connected to the hotline. Weekly meetings will be held and we will not do it alone, but with the participation of public figures from Arab society, members of the mayors' committee and mayors who will come in for the common goal," Yossi Shelly told Israel Hayom. Shelly also intends to lead the directors general of government ministries soon to a meeting in one of the Arab cities to discuss issues on the table, including the problem of mortgages in the sector, employment solutions and the development of the main roads in the north in a transportation plan, as well as a renewed discussion of the Kaminitz Law.
MK Aida Touma-Suleiman sought to address the fact that there are hundreds of orphans in Arab society as a result of the murders that need to be dealt with by the Ministry of Social Affairs. The Knesset members asked Netanyahu to appoint a projector on behalf of the prime minister and not on behalf of the police, as Minister Ben-Gvir suggested, who would plan the work of all police ministries on the issue.
Conspicuous by his absence, Abbas, photo: Oren Ben Hakon
Asked by Israel Hayom about the fact that Ra'am members chose not to attend the meeting with Netanyahu, Tibi said, "We wanted to come together and submit joint demands, but apparently the precipitation and calculation outweighed the responsibility, especially in light of this important issue. We would prefer it to happen that way. Last Wednesday they wanted to participate, what changed? We said that even though there will be a change of one percent in this reality, it is worth it that we come despite the lack of trust with Netanyahu. But they preferred not to participate and attack from outside. In any case, we came to this meeting to discuss the issue of crime and violence, not to join Netanyahu's coalition."
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