Majd Al-Krum, MINA – About 20,000 Israeli Arabs staged a general strike and protests on Thursday related to a wave of deadly violence against minority communities.
Schools, businesses in towns, and villages with Arab residents were closed after calls from Arab and local national leaders. MPs from the newly elected Arab party in the Knesset missed their official oath because of solidarity.
Thousands of people gathered in the northern city of Majd Al-Krum which peaked on Thursday night.
Israeli police say there have been more than 70 killings in the Arab community this year, more than half the number of murders in whole country. Israeli Arabs make up 20 percent of the general population.
Earlier this week, two brothers and one third were killed in a fight involving weapons and knives in Majd Al-Krum.
Arab leaders in Israel say police largely ignore violence in their communities, ranging from family strife and mafia wars to domestic violence and so-called honor killings.
Israeli Arabs are of Palestinian descent who continue to choose to live in the country after it was founded in 1948. They have the right to vote but suffer discrimination and they say that the authorities treat them like second-class citizens.
The Arab party coalition took advantage in last month’s parliamentary elections, giving hope that public security will improve as one of its top priorities.
A total of 13 newly elected Knesset members from the Arab Joint List alliance did not attend their inauguration oath in the Knesset because they participated in the strike. (T/Sj/P2)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)