Tuesday, 15 October 2019 | What happened: The Israeli government and police have announced new measures to tackle violent crime in Arab communities, including an operation to collect firearms and the deployment of an additional 600 police officers.
Context: Ahead of the meeting, Arab political leaders led a protest convoy of hundreds of vehicles from the north and the south that converged on Jerusalem. The demonstrators drove slowly, causing heavy traffic on Israel’s main motorways.
Looking ahead: The police have not yet announced the details of their plans to collect weapons, but a similar operation two years ago, without the support of the Arab communal leadership, led to only three handguns being handed in after 10 days. An official firearms amnesty, with the full support of Arab political leaders, could be more successful. Ahmed Tibi MK [member of Knesset (Parliament)] said he would call on the Arab public to hand in weapons and cooperate with the police. Despite the announcement of extra police officers, it is clear that political action and protests will continue. More large-scale demonstrations are planned later this month. On October 21 and 27, protestors will gather outside police headquarters in Nazareth and Ramle, and on October 27, organizers plan to set up protest tents outside government offices in Jerusalem.
Posted on October 15, 2019
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